Corporate Spirit: Religion and the Rise of the Modern Corporation (Hardback)
  • Corporate Spirit: Religion and the Rise of the Modern Corporation (Hardback)
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Corporate Spirit: Religion and the Rise of the Modern Corporation (Hardback)

(author)
£25.49
Hardback 216 Pages / Published: 31/05/2018
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In this groundbreaking work, Amanda Porterfield explores the long intertwining of religion and commerce in the history of incorporation in the United States. Beginning with the antecedents of that history in western Europe, she focuses on organizations to show how corporate strategies in religion and commerce developed symbiotically, and how religion has influenced the corporate structuring and commercial orientation of American society. Porterfield begins her story in ancient Rome. She traces the development of corporate organization through medieval Europe and Elizabethan England and then to colonial North America, where organizational practices derived from religion infiltrated commerce, and commerce led to political independence. Left more to their own devices than under British law, religious groups in the United States experienced unprecedented autonomy that facilitated new forms of communal governance and new means of broadcasting their messages. As commercial enterprise expanded, religious organizations grew apace, helping many Americans absorb the shocks of economic turbulence, and promoting new conceptions of faith, spirit, and will power that contributed to business. Porterfield highlights the role that American religious institutions played a society increasingly dominated by commercial incorporation and free market ideologies. She also shows how charitable impulses long nurtured by religion continued to stimulate reform and demand for accountability.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199372652
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 432 g
Dimensions: 243 x 164 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Porterfield has produced a landmark work on the messy entanglement of Western Christianity and the corporate form. It raises important new questions, reveals new patterns of change and continuity, and should alter the ways we talk about religion and capitalism... Corporate Spirit demonstrates that marking corporations 'secular' and religion 'private' distorts more than it reveals. The book's institutional focus imposes a healthy concreteness on a field of inquiry that too often leans on metaphors. If this book gets the attention it deserves, historians of religion will be spending less time chasing what adherents felt and thought and believed, and more time in the corporate documents. * Timothy E W Gloege, Reading Religion *
This learned and wide-ranging book on the varied and intimate connections between Christianity and American capitalism is absolutely fascinating. Amanda Porterfield chronicles their relationship from the Roman Empire to yesterday. In doing so, she has achieved an unusual combination of admirable traits: she is both original and judicious. * Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 *
This fascinating new study explores the overlapping terrain of Christianity and contract law from Roman antiquity to the twenty-first century world of Enron and global corporations. In bringing together the Pauline idea of 'corporate membership' with the evolving world of corporate America it has no equal in breadth of scholarship, grace of style, or acuity of interpretation. Nothing less than a scholarly tour de force. * Harry S. Stout, author of American Aristocrats: A Family, a Fortune, and the Making of American Capitalism *
Amanda Porterfield's Corporate Spirit is not simply a description, or even a critique, of contemporary American capitalism; it is an exciting synthesis thinking about what makes for collective action and shared community, from the ancient world to the present. It is now essential reading for understanding Christian ethics, civil religion, and American exceptionalism. * G. Scott Davis, Booker Professor of Religion and Ethics, University of Richmond *

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