The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity

Hardcover | June 15, 2016

byDarren E. Grem

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The Book of Matthew cautions readers that "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." But for at least a century conservative American Protestants have been trying to prove that adage wrong. In The Blessings of Business, Darren E. Grem argues that while preachers, activists, and politicians have allhelped spread the gospel, American evangelicalism owes its enduring strength in a large part to private enterprise.Grem argues for a new history of American evangelicalism, demonstrating how its adherents strategically used corporate America - its leaders, businesses, money, ideas, and values - to advance their religious, cultural, and political movement. Beginning before the First World War, conservativeevangelicals were able to use businessmen and business methods 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, trade, and the state,transforming evangelicalism itself into as much of an economic movement as a religious one. The Blessings of Business tells the story of unlikely partnerships between well-known champions of the evangelical movement such as Billy Graham and largely forgotten businessmen like Herbert Taylor, J. Howard Pew, and R.G. LeTourneau. Grem also shows how evangelicals set up their own pro-businessorganizations and linked the quarterly and yearly growth of "Christian" businesses to their social, religious, and political aspirations. Fascinating and provocative, The Blessings of Business uncovers the strong ties that conservative Christians have forged between the Almighty and the almightydollar.

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The Book of Matthew cautions readers that "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." But for at least a century conservative American Protestants have been trying to prove that adage wrong. In The Blessings of Business, Darren E. Grem argues that while preachers, activists, and politicians have allhelped spread the gospel, American evangelicali...

Darren E. Grem is Assistant Professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi.

other books by Darren E. Grem

Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:June 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199927979

ISBN - 13:9780199927975

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"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 thatthe 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 inthe 1970s and 1980s." --Matthew D. Lassiter, author of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South