Augustine would have no problem recognizing the pathologies of twenty-first-century advanced industrial countries, in which it is estimated that an addiction to shopping claims more than 10 percent of the population, and 20 percent of women – more than drugs and alcohol combined. A person buys something – anything – trying to fill the hole that is the empty shrine. And once the shopper purchases the thing, it turns into a nothing, and (s)he has to head back to the mall to continue the search. With no objective ends to guide the search, [the] search is literally endless.
– William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire