The ‘religion’ of Christmas | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2042-7891
  • E-ISSN: 2042-7905



The aim of this article is to query the established wisdom that the celebration of consumerist values, as exemplified in many Christmas films, is evidence of a decline of religious significance in the modern world. Rather, I argue that the celebration of consumerism is itself a repository of ‘sacred time’ and that Christmas is one of the most fertile embodiments of religious activity in the world today. I interrogate the way in which Eliade, Tillich and Durkheim understand the relationship between religion and culture, the sacred and the profane, to present a more subtle understanding of the interplay between material and spiritual configurations, to the point that Christmas is a religion because of rather than in spite of its material and commercialized teleology. The intention is to move away from conventional binary language in order to develop a more sophisticated and realistic understanding of where religion can be encountered.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Christmas; consumerism; Eliade; religion; secular; Tillich
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