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The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity (Hardback)
  • The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity (Hardback)
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The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity (Hardback)

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£27.99
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 23/06/2016
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"Ye cannot serve God and mammon," the Bible says. But conservative American Protestants have, for at least a century, been trying to prove that adage wrong. While preachers, activists, and politicians have all helped spread the gospel, Darren Grem argues that evangelicalism owes its strength to the blessings of business. Grem offers a new history of American evangelicalism, showing how its adherents strategically used corporate America-its leaders, businesses, money, ideas, and values-to advance their religious, cultural, and political aspirations. Conservative evangelicals were thus able to retain and expand their public influence in a secularizing, diversifying, and liberalizing age. In the process they became beholden to pro-business stances on matters of theology, race, gender, taxation, free trade, and the state, making them well-suited to a broader conservative movement that was also of, by, and for corporate America. The Blessings of Business tells the story of unlikely partnerships between champions of the evangelical movement, such as Billy Graham, and largely forgotten businessmen, like R.G. LeTourneau; he describes the backdrop against which the religious right's pro-business politics can be understood. The evangelical embrace of corporate capitalism made possible a fusion with other conservatives, he finds, creating a foundation for the business-friendly turn in the nation's economy and political culture. But it also transformed conservative evangelicalism itself, making it as much an economic movement as a religious one. Fascinating and provocative, The Blessings of Business uncovers the strong ties Americans have forged between the Almighty and the almighty dollar.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199927975
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 534 g
Dimensions: 239 x 163 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Darren E. Grem's The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity offers a necessary glimpse into the world of conservative evangelical Christianity and the businessmen and corporations that supported its rise to religious... and cultural dominance in public life. This is a helpful book for those interested in both history and religion, and is sure to be an enlightening read. * Blake I. Campbell, Journal of Markets & Morality *
The foremost criteria for a historical book is whether it meets its stated objective. Grem succeeds in meeting all three of his explicit objectives: he shows how corporations shaped conservative Protestant Christianity; exposes the business side of American religion, with its cultural and political ramifications; and places the construction of American religion within the history of corporate capitalism. Provocative, informative, and required reading for all who wonder how conservative evangelicalism became linked at the hip with modern free-market capitalism, Grem's book shows how many Christians came to reconcile serving both God and mammon. * Brandon J. Payne, H-Net *
Packed with fascinating biographical and institutional details... ought to secure...a lasting place on reading lists in twentieth-century religion, business, and politics. * Journal of American History *
A worthy contribution... Grem is especially adept at teasing out the interconnections among these various individuals and groups, as well as pointing out the racism and homophobia that underlies many of these companies and the labor practices in their supply chains. * American Historical Review *
Stellar... The Blessings of Business is, in short, a strikingly comprehensive synthesis, brilliant in its combination of sweeping and probing analysis. * Business History Review *
In this welcome addition to the literature on Christianity and capitalism, Darren Grem shows that businessmen not only championed evangelical and fundamentalist causes but also changed them considerably, sparking a corporatization of conservative religious culture that spread from televangelist theme parks to Chick-fil-A restaurants. * Kevin M. Kruse, author of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America *
Few areas of scholarship are livelier than that addressing the Christian history of American business. Into this dynamic community of research, Darren Grem regales us with the uncanny abilities of evangelical businessmen in their negotiation of the marketplace. He demonstrates that evangelicalism doesn't just define the outlook of a minority of American businesses. Rather, he shows how born-again theologies and politics became embedded in corporate managerial strategies. Matters of business in America are, Grem demonstrates, always also matters of faith. * Kathryn Lofton, author of Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon *
Faith in the market takes on a double meaning in Darren Grem's persuasive book of political and religious history, which explores the evangelical ventures sponsored by business leaders and the corporate enterprises founded by Christian evangelists. The Blessings of Business demonstrates that the fusion of conservative evangelicalism and corporate capitalism shaped American political culture throughout the twentieth century, demolishing the conventional wisdom that Religious Right backlash and Republican party elites first bridged the alleged gap between 'social' and 'economic' issues in the 1970s and 1980s. * Matthew D. Lassiter, author of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South *
This is an excellent and ambitious book. Grem has done a tremendous amount of research, his writing is clear, and his examples are consistently engaging. The book is a welcome addition to the exploding historiography on modern American evangelicalism. ... This is a wonderful book certain to have a major impact for years to come. * Matthew Avery Sutton, Journal of Religion *

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