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The Business Turn in American Religious History$
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Amanda Porterfield, Darren Grem, and John Corrigan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190280192

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190280192.001.0001

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Fundamentalism and the Business Turn

Fundamentalism and the Business Turn

(p.46) 2 Fundamentalism and the Business Turn
The Business Turn in American Religious History

Timothy E. W. Gloege

Oxford University Press

This essay traces the development of fundamentalism in the context of wider changes in evangelical Protestantism and business in the United States. The need for social stability in antebellum America and the role of Protestant religion in maintaining it tamped down the intrinsic individualism of both evangelicalism and business. But a series of social and business transformations after the Civil War, and the growing influence of the state in social and economic life, provided the impetus and opportunity for a fundamentalist movement to emerge in the 1910s. The firm establishment and naturalizing of modern consumer capitalism after World War II allowed a business-infused fundamentalism (known now as “neo-evangelicalism”) to thrive. Throughout its development, fundamentalism borrowed from business ideology and techniques for religious ends.

Keywords:   fundamentalism, corporate evangelicalism, consumer capitalism, individualism, modernism

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