Theses Doctoral

Book People: Evangelical Books and the Making of Contemporary Evangelicalism

Vaca, Daniel

"Book People: Evangelical Books and the Making of Contemporary Evangelicalism" traces the conjoined histories of evangelical Christianity and evangelical book culture in the United States. Although existing studies of religion, media, and business have explored evangelical print culture in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, historians rarely have lent their attention to the century that intervenes. Addressing this historiographic silence, this dissertation's chapters move from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. These chapters center their narrative on the middle decades of this period, when ministerial and entrepreneurial evangelicals increasingly turned to books not only as tools of cultural and theological discipline but also as commercial opportunities. By the end of the century, the marketplace had molded evangelicalism into a constituency that everyone from ministers to scholars to politicians to suburban shoppers to international media conglomerates regularly imagined, addressed, and invoked. Drawing on such archival sources as business records, meeting minutes, advertisements, editorial correspondence, marketing plans, sermon collections, and interviews, "Book People" illustrates how contemporary evangelicalism and the contemporary evangelical book industry helped bring each other into being.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Balmer, Randall H.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 12, 2012