John Milbank on Traditional Marriage, Sexuality, and Late Capitalism

Professor John Milbank

Radical Orthodoxy theologian John Milbank makes some interesting observations of capitalism in his latest contribution to “Religion and Ethics.” I have been thinking along these same lines, especially his insights about young girls as both the consumer and victim of late capitalism.

“Moreover, there are crucial negative testimonies to its persistence. It would seem that when it is denied that a woman’s body or biology has any psychic correlate, that then her purely physical difference gets vastly over-accentuated and exploited. Thus children are increasingly differentiated by gender to a ludicrous degree in terms, for example, of every item intended for little girls being coloured pink and the ever-younger adoption of sexualised clothes and make-up by adolescent and pre-pubescent girls.

Indeed, it has been plausibly argued that the “young girl” is now at once the prime commodity and the prime consumer of late capitalism. Is it an accident that the according of only “human” rights to women coincides with a new phase in their degradation?”

Oh, and I like this promotion of stay-at-home dads:

“This conclusion is by no means simply traditional since it rejects the patriarchalism that puts men naturally on top. Instead, it newly implies that just as we need men in the home, so we need women in politics, business, the arts, academia and even the military. This prospect belongs to a radical as opposed to a liberal feminism, because it suggests that a new public role of women can truly make a difference.”

I would recommend you read the rest:

John Milbank: Gay Marriage and the Future of Human Sexuality

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3 thoughts on “John Milbank on Traditional Marriage, Sexuality, and Late Capitalism

  1. Ryan

    I appreciate the comments by Milbank you’ve outlined above. However, Milbank’s continuing Constantinian attitude is disappointing. I’d hate to get all Hauerwasian, but who cares about the good that “traditional” marriage does for the health of the state? Shouldn’t the church be a little more interested in what constitutes the health of the reign of God?

    1. RodtRDH Post author

      Wow, Ryan, that is AN EXCELLENT POINT!!!!

      I didn’t even see that one. Don’t worry about sounding “too Hauerwasian”; you did just fine.

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