The Biblical Horizons Conference continues.
How do we imagine our surroundings? What influences that? How do we then form our identities based on that? This is called the Social Imaginary.
The illustration used to illustrate this was a critique of the Mall (that’s right, ladies).
The Mall produces a way of viewing our identities that is often false. 4 keys elements were identified in this:
- Brokenness. The Mall presents perfect people. Window shoppers are not perfect: they are broken and need to attain perfection
- Sociality. The Mall creates a social experience (almost exclusively for women), that also includes elements of competition
- Redemption. It’s therapy. If a girl’s feeling down, she buys a new purse
- Unsustainable. The Social Imaginary offered by the Mall is impossible to keep up with. And the environment required to create the Mall involves sweatshops, slave labor, etc. The perfect world requires a dirty world to support it.
This is in contrast to the Church. Not that the Mall is bad: quite the contrary. We gotta buy clothes somewhere (Walmart works for us guys just fine). But if people can’t get Redemption, Sociality, etc, from the Church, they will get it somewhere else.