[PAST EVENT] “Buying Is Believing: Capitalism and Religion in Modern America” (Daniel Vaca '02)
Access & Features
- Open to the public
How do corporations and consumerism shape religion? Drawing on his recent book about the rise of the evangelical media industry, as well as examples from traditions such as contemporary Judaism, Prof. Daniel Vaca (Brown University; W&M '02) shows how corporate strategies and commercial practices have not only fueled tremendous growth in particular religious communities but have also transformed their devotional traditions. By showing how contemporary religions have developed through capitalist activity, this talk invites you to consider how it shapes other areas of society as well as your own life.
Daniel Vaca teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University, where he is the Robert Gale Noyes Assistant Professor of Humanities. His research and teaching focus on histories of religion and culture in the United States, with an emphasis on the relationship between religious and economic life. Vaca's award-winning first book, Evangelicals Incorporated: Books and the Business of Religion in America (Harvard, 2019), shows how commercial strategies and corporate ambitions helped evangelical Christianity to become socially coherent, prominent, and pervasive during the twentieth century. His current research explores understandings of and responses to inequity in the United States, focusing especially on the religious history of taxes and taxation.
This event is co-sponsored by Religious Studies, Judaic Studies, American Studies, History, and Economics.