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Post-Industrial Asceticism from goop to Kinfolk Magazine

Issue: Vol 47 No. 3–4 (2018)

Journal: Bulletin for the Study of Religion

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Buddhist Studies Islamic Studies Biblical Studies

DOI: 10.1558/bsor.35707


This response article comments on Dana Logan’s recent exploration of the religiosity of Gwyneth Paltrow's goop brand in a 2017 publication, “The Lean Closet: Asceticism in Post Industrial Consumer Culture.” I compare and contrast Logan’s work on Paltrow's lifestyle institution with my own analogous research on the Kinfolk movement and its impulses toward ascetic minimalism. From a method and theory standpoint, I analyze in the following the strategies by which Logan deploys the concept of religiosity in studying pop cultural forms such as goop. Thinking about redescription, terminological ambiguity, and the difference between emic and etic categories and labels, I comment on Logan's someone figurative or metaphorical description of goop as a "cultural carrier" of Calvinism and question the linguistic slippages that occur when scholars employ theological and ecclesial terminologies for secondary taxonomic purposes.

Author: Travis Warren Cooper

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