The Pew and the Picket Line
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The Pew and the Picket Line : Christianity and the American Working Class

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The Pew and the Picket Line collects works from a new generation of scholars working at the nexus where religious history and working-class history converge. Focusing on Christianity and its unique purchase in America, the contributors use in-depth local histories to illustrate how Americans male and female, rural and urban, and from a range of ethnic backgrounds dwelt in a space between the church and the shop floor. Their vivid essays show Pentecostal miners preaching prosperity while seeking miracles in the depths of the earth, while aboveground black sharecroppers and white Protestants establish credit unions to pursue a joint vision of cooperative capitalism. Innovative and essential, The Pew and the Picket Line reframes venerable debates as it maps the dynamic contours of a landscape sculpted by the powerful forces of Christianity and capitalism. Contributors: Christopher D. Cantwell, Heath W. Carter, Janine Giordano Drake, Ken Fones-Wolf, Erik Gellman, Alison Collis Greene, Brett Hendrickson, Dan McKanan, Matthew Pehl, Kerry L. Pimblott, Jarod Roll, Evelyn Sterne, and Arlene Sanchez Walsh.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 539.77g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252039998
  • 9780252039997

Review quote

"The Pew and the Picket Line is an example of a collection done right. With an outstanding introductory essay on the historiography of religion and labor by Cantwell, Carter, and Drake, along with cutting-edge research throughout the rest of the book, this collection should be essential reading for historians of American religion and labor."--Annals of Iowa "The Pew and the Picket Line is a useful addition to the recent literature that seeks to examine the historical interplay of religion and labor. What distinguishes this book from some others in the field is its focus on the working class itself--those in the pew--rather than leadership. The contributors' willingness to engage seriously with the religious beliefs of their subjects is to be commended, as well as their attention to race, gender, ethnicity, class, place, and denomination."--Labour/ Le Travail "Fully attentive to the historical scholarship and political theory upon which the volume (TM)s scholarship builds, Cantwell, Carter, and Drake also take the necessary steps in their historiographical introduction to reopen all questions about how work, race, gender, ethnicity, region and religion have intersected in the American past, and to suggest provocative new ones. The richly textured historical case studies that follow more than fulfill the agenda the editors set. This is a superb work of collective history by some of the most creative younger historians working on the subject today."--Robert Orsi, author of The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950 "Together, the excellent scholars highlight the exciting possibilities and future studies of the histories of religions and labor in the US. This book covers wide ground temporally, geographically, methodologically, and theoretically. For the study of both US Christianities and US Capitalisms, this is a must read... Highly recommended."--Choice This is a terrific collection. In treating the religious commitments of American working people seriously, it offers a more holistic perspective of these men and women that reflects their very humanity. --Nick Salvatore, author of Eugene V. Debs: Citizen and Socialist "With this diverse collection of essays, Cantwell, Carter, and Drake admirably succeed in merging the histories of religion and the working class. Without exception the work is sharply focused and impeccably researched."-History News Networkshow more

About Christopher D. Cantwell

Christopher D. Cantwell is an assistant professor of public history and religious studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Heath W. Carter is an assistant professor of history at Valparaiso University. Janine Giordano Drake is an assistant professor of history at the University of Great Falls.show more

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