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The Business Turn in American Religious History

Edited by Amanda Porterfield, Edited by Darren Grem, and Edited by John Corrigan

14 September 2017

ISBN: 9780190280208

264 pages

In Stock

Price: £34.49



Focusing on the interdependence of business and religious life in America, this volume explores the business aspects of numerous religious organizations, with attention to the financing, production, marketing, and distribution of religious goods and services and to the role of wealth and economic organization in worship, charity, philanthropy, institutional growth and missionary work. Treating religion and business holistically, the essays show how business practices have continually informed American religious life, and how business has operated as a vital domain of religious life that historians of religion often overlook.

  • A holistic treatment of the influence of American business practice on religion
  • Examines business in relation to a diverse spread of religions in America
  • Offers a wide variety of essays on different aspects of business practices surrounding religious discourse

About the Author(s)

Edited by Amanda Porterfield, Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion and History, Florida State University, Edited by Darren Grem, Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion and Professor of History, Florida State University, and Edited by John Corrigan, Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies, University of Mississippi

Amanda Porterfield is the Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion and History at Florida State University. She is the author of several books in American religious history and the history of Christianity, including Corporate Spirit: Religion's Role in the Long History Behind Corporate America, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

John Corrigan is the Lucius Moody Bristol Distinguished Professor of Religion and Professor of History at Florida State University. He is author or editor of several books, including The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion.

Darren E. Grem is an Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Table of Contents

    Preface: Business, Religion, History, and Consilience
    Robert E. Wright
    Introduction: The Business Turn in American Religious History
    John Corrigan, Darren Grem, and Amanda Porterfield
    Believing within Business: Evangelicalism, Media, and Financial Faith
    Daniel Vaca
    Fundamentalism and the Business Turn
    Timothy Gloege
    Godly Work for a Global Christianity: American Christians' Economic Impact through Missions, Markets and International Development
    David P. King
    Approaching Zion: Mormon Ambivalence about Capitalism
    Matthew Bowman
    A Business Turn in American Jewish Religious History: Women and the Emergence of Popular Philanthropy
    Deborah Skolnick Einhorn
    The Business of Asian Religions: Guru Entrepreneurs and Godmen CEOs
    Michael J. Altman
    Hunting Buffalo In Oklahoma: Native American Casinos, Constructed Identities, and Portrayals of Native Culture and Religion
    Angela Tarango
    St. Homobonus Shepherds the CEOs: Doing Good versus Doing (Really) Well
    Paula Kane
    James Hudnut-Beumler


"Rich in historical detail and fresh with theoretical insight, The Business Turn in American Religious History challenges and inspires new ways of reading and constructing American religious history." - Daniel Jones, Religious Studies Review

"Rare is the essay collection that advances a scholarly paradigm shift. The Business Turn in American Religious History is one of those exceptions. Amanda Porterfield, Darren Grem and John Corrigan's volume offers a definitive word on the history of faith and corporate capitalism in America... From beginning to end, then, The Business Turn in American Religious History delivers one rich and surprising insight after another... In sum, this volume is a state of the art/state of the field address, one that scholars will find invaluable for their work in the archives and on the written page, as well as in the classroom." - Darren Dochuk, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

"Together, the essays collected here offer new ways of conceptualizing the interdependence of religion and business in the United States, establishing multiple paths for further study of their intertwined historical development." - The Southern Register

"As the authors of the essays in this volume show, examining religion and religious institutions through the lens of business provides numerous insights into how religions gain influence, how they spread, both in the United States and throughout the world, and how their members come to terms with serving both God and mammon. The book is highly recommended for scholars of both religious history and business history." - Matthew C. Godfrey, Reading Religion