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Homespun GospelThe Triumph of Sentimentality in Contemporary American Evangelicalism$
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Todd M. Brenneman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199988983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199988983.001.0001

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“New York Times Best-Selling Author”: Christian Media and the Marketing of Sentiment

“New York Times Best-Selling Author”: Christian Media and the Marketing of Sentiment

(p.83) 3New York Times Best-Selling Author”: Christian Media and the Marketing of Sentiment
Homespun Gospel

Todd M. Brenneman

Oxford University Press

Marketing has been a part of evangelicalism from the beginning of the movement. Much of contemporary evangelical popular culture, though, is about the creation of brands that have staying power in the market. Through branding, evangelicals hope to create and maintain commitment from an audience to a particular author or minister. These practices demonstrate that sentimentality is a prime commodity in evangelicalism. It is apparent not just in religious books but in other parts of evangelicalism like contemporary Christian music or worship music or children’s media like VeggieTales. In all of these market-driven areas, evangelicals use sentimentality to socialize audiences to the values of the community and instantiate authority in them.

Keywords:   Evangelicalism, Sentimentality, Marketing, Contemporary Christian music, Children’s media, VeggieTales

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