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The Business Turn in American Religious History$
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Amanda Porterfield, Darren Grem, and John Corrigan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190280192

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190280192.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

Introduction

Introduction

The Business Turn in American Religious History

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Business Turn in American Religious History
Author(s):

Amanda Porterfield

John Corrigan

Darren E. Grem

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190280192.003.0001

Beginning with the intertwining of commerce and Christianity in the colonial era, the Introduction offers a historical framework for understanding the evolving relationship between American religious organizations and consumer capitalism. From the move toward parity between religious and commercial organizations under the aegis of contract law in the early American republic to the infusion of business practices into religious organizations beginning in the nineteenth century, and finally to recent equations of religion and prosperity and the strategic use of religion as a marketing tool for business growth, this chapter identifies business practices and economic theories embedded within the history of American religious organizations. The chapter calls for more attention to the business side of religion as not only a neglected aspect of American religious history but also a new way of understanding that history.

Keywords:   religion, commerce, corporations, capitalism, Christianity

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