SHOPPING FOR JESUS: Faith in Marketing in the USA

Dominic Janes, ed.
New Academia Publishing, 2008
300 Pages, 32 Illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9800814-3-5 Paperback

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About the Author

Dominic Janes is a lecturer in the history of art and religion at Birkbeck College, University of London. His core research interests focus on Christian discourses of materialism, incarnation and sexuality. His PhD dissertation was published as God and Gold in Late Antiquity by Cambridge University Press in 1998. He has just completed his third book, Victorian Reformation: The Fight over Idolatry in the Church of England.

About the book

This volume explores the connections between faith, the presentation of belief and the processes by which it is sold and consumed. The contributors have all been researching the way in which religion operates in a market culture and the degree to which one can use the notions of branding, advertising and marketing to understand missionary and revival activities. Conversely, one might ask whether religious methods of self-promotion underlay the development of some of the techniques of private enterprise. The contributors come from theology, history, art history, literature and business studies backgrounds. This edited collection breaks new ground by presenting a line-up of case studies on the issue of the boundaries of business, Christian religion and visual culture which have been selected so as to provide a wide range of comparative textual, visual and material evidence.


“The ‘marketing of religion’ has become a subject of renewed interest in recent years, engaging scholars from traditional areas of inquiry (religious studies, theology), but also those in business, performance studies, and the social sciences. These essays promise to help us understand not simply what is done or how it is done, but what interpretive strategies and options help to discern layers of meaning and significance in cultural products like advertisements, film, and religious tracts.”

—Michael L. Budde, Professor of Political Science, DePaul University.

“The buying and selling of things is an element in the practice of virtually every religion one can think of. And the more one looks into it, the more multi-facetted it becomes and the more light it throws on wider society. In some parts of today’s religions it has taken on a role that, to the outside observer at least, often seems central to religious practice, and sometimes to offer a parallel or even rival set of understandings to those of the orthodox parole.”

—Crispin Paine, University College, Chichester, UK, Editor of Material Religion:The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief.