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Ken Myers, Murray Milner, and Vincent Miller Discuss the How and Why of Consumerism

Industry: Education

New Free Think U Course Asks: Do We Consume Too Much?

Washington D.C. (PRUnderground) February 10th, 2014

There really are two ways to be wealthy: one is to make more money, and the other is to be content with what you have.  Our society seems to be relentless in its pursuit of things.  Free Think University has released a new course this week which asks the simple question, “Do We Consume Too Much?” and seeks answers by presenting views from various schools of thought.

This course experience includes a series of interviews conducted by former NPR voice and founder of MARS HILL AUDIO, Ken Myers. In the first, he interviews Murray Milner, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Virginia. They discuss how today’s teen is made a consumer in our educational paradigm. Milner divulges that, “If we want to understand why teenagers behave the way they do we have to see how the social context in which people of this age live is quite different than it was in other societies and other times in history.”

How do parents affect how their children grow up? Do they influence consumerism in their children? Milner says the answer is yes. “Most parents complain about the consumerism of their teenagers, but they do innumerable things explicitly and implicitly to encourage it.” He explains this in his engaging discussion with Myers.

Also brought into the mix is Vincent Miller, the Gudorf chair in Catholic Theology and culture at the University of Dayton. He talks about how our faith experience in modern America adds to this impulse to see all of life through consumption and commodity. “What we need is to find a non-fundamentalist way to respond to the erosions of globalism…It’s a structural problem as much as the as a problem of the attitudes of individual believers.”

The course outlines various discussions surrounding how our society is set up in such a way that promotes consumerism. It is up to the reader to decide if this is leading to an excess of consumerism.

“Free Think University seeks to produce thought-provoking experiences relating to The Big Questions posed by America’s students,” noted co-founder Jim Van Eerden. “No matter your perspective, it’s important to hear all sides of an argument to form a well-reasoned point of view, including one’s views about the blessings and curses of consumerism in our society.”

To access the full course, click here. For additional media information, please contact media@freethinku.com.

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to ideas@freethinku.com. For more information go to www.freethinku.com or follow @freethinku.

About MARS HILL AUDIO

Since 1993, MARS HILL AUDIO has been committed to assisting Christians who desire to move from thoughtless consumption of contemporary culture to a vantage point of thoughtful engagement. They endeavor to encourage sensibilities and habits of thoughtful cultural engagement through creative audio resources, produced at their studio in rural central Virginia. To learn more go to www.marshillaudio.org.

About the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Virginia, studies the rapid and extensive cultural changes taking place in our world today. Through empirically grounded research, it seeks to understand the unprecedented transformations underway in the frameworks of meaning and moral order within which individuals live and understand their lives, institutions shape their purposes and plans, and social life unfolds. To learn more go to www.iasc-culture.org or follow @iasculture.

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to ideas@freethinku.com. For more information go to www.freethinku.com or follow @freethinku.

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