Fashion Theology

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Robert Covolo
  • Waco, TX: 
    Baylor University Press
    , August
     2020.
     216 pages.
     $39.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781481312738.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

What is fashion? Where does it come from? Why has it come to permeate modern life?

In the last half century, questions like these have drawn serious academic reflection, resulting in a new field of research—fashion studies—and generating a rich multidisciplinary discussion. Yet theology’s voice has been conspicuously absent in this conversation. The time has finally come for theology to break her silence and join this decades-long conversation.

Fashion Theology is the first of its kind: a serious and long-overdue account of the dynamic relationship between theology and fashion. Chronicling the epic journey from ancient Christian sources to current developments in fashion studies, cultural theologian Robert Covolo navigates the rich history of Christian thought as well as recent political, social, aesthetic, literary, and performance theory. Far from mere disparity or quick resolution, Covolo demonstrates that fashion and theology inhabit a mutual terrain that has, until recently, scarcely been imagined.

Covolo retraces the way theologians have taken up fashion across history, unveiling how Christian thinkers have been fascinated with fashion well before the academy’s current focus, and bringing these insights into the conversation with fashion itself: the logic by which fashion operates, how fashion shapes our world, and the way fashion imperceptibly molds our personal lives. Within fashion’s realms reside some of life’s greatest challenges: the foundations of political power, the basis for social order, the nature of aesthetics, how we inhabit time, and the means by which we tell stories about our lives—challenges, it turns out, that theologians also explore.

Fashion favors the bold; theology demands humility. Holding the two together,  Fashion Theology trailblazes an interdisciplinary path informed by a thoughtful engagement with the Christian witness. For those traversing this spectacle of unexpected crossroads and hotly contested terrain, the promise of fashion theology awaits with its myriad unexplored vistas.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Robert Covolo (PhD VU Amsterdam) is a cultural theologian residing in Los Angeles. He has served as a scholar at the Visual Faith Institute of Art and Architecture and as faculty at the Torrey Honors Institute, and currently directs the Center for Pastoral Residents, Christ Church Sierra Madre.

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