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In Pursuit of the Almighty's Dollar: A History of Money and American Protestantism (Paperback)
  • In Pursuit of the Almighty's Dollar: A History of Money and American Protestantism (Paperback)
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In Pursuit of the Almighty's Dollar: A History of Money and American Protestantism (Paperback)

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£38.50
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 30/03/2014
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Every day of the week in contemporary America (and especially on Sundays) people raise money for their religious enterprises--for clergy, educators, buildings, charity, youth-oriented work, and more. In a fascinating look into the economics of American Protestantism, James Hudnut-Beumler examines how churches have raised and spent money from colonial times to the present and considers what these practices say about both religion and American culture.

After the constitutional separation of church and state was put in force, Hudnut-Beumler explains, clergy salaries had to be collected exclusively from the congregation without recourse to public funds. In adapting to this change, Protestants forged a new model that came to be followed in one way or another by virtually all religious organizations in the country. Clergy repeatedly invoked God, ecclesiastical tradition, and scriptural evidence to promote giving to the churches they served.

Hudnut-Beumler contends that paying for earthly good works done in the name of God has proved highly compatible with American ideas of enterprise, materialism, and individualism. The financial choices Protestants have made throughout history--how money was given, expended, or even withheld--have reflected changing conceptions of what the religious enterprise is all about. Hudnut-Beumler tells that story for the first time.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469614755
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 445 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 17 mm
Edition: New edition


MEDIA REVIEWS
Informative history.--ChristianCentury


Offers an intriguing perspective on church history.--Journal of Church and State


Connects the longevity of American Protestantism to anxious, often uncomfortable attempts to systematize the practice of voluntary giving. . . . Those hungry to understand the drivers behind a key institution in American life will do well to take a look at this fresh approach.--Christian Science Monitor


A wonderful tour through the many ways that Protestants sought survival by stealing the advertising, selling, and buying tools found in the consumer market and business culture.--The Journal of Religion


For scholars and church leaders who want to learn just how much of history they are currently repeating, this book is a good starting place.--Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion


Readers seeking a history of church fundraising will find the volume extremely helpful. . . . We can certainly profit from the numerous insights that are provided.--Journal of American History


A concise and lucid narrative of this neglected but important topic. . . . An important book for any pastor, church administrator, or student of American religion. It provides both a compelling, well-researched history and significant insight.--Themelios


A unique and valuable addition to the historiography of American religion.--American Historical Review


An overdue study of a neglected aspect of religion in America, of particular interest to theological and graduate students, and also to laypersons and church professionals. Recommended.--CHOICE

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