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Christianity Today, J. Howard Pew, and the Business of Conservative Evangelicalism

  • Darren E. Grem

Abstract

Founded in 1956 by Billy Graham, L. Nelson Bell, and a cadre of evangelical theologians and business leaders, Christianity Today (CT) was—and still is—the world’s foremost Christian periodical. From the late 1950s through the early 1970s, CT’s editors also branded it as a new vehicle for conservative discourse and public assertiveness, especially regarding the relationship of the state to church, business, and society. Given CT’s theological and political stances, it garnered financial support and institutional direction from oil executive J. Howard Pew. This essay examines Pew’s contributions as a way of understanding the crucial role played by business elites in the construction of American conservative evangelicalism. Moreover, through a case study of CT, this essay re-periodizes the origins of corporate-evangelical alliances to the early twentieth century and evaluates the relative successes and failures of conservatives in postwar evangelicalism, state policy, and cultural politics.

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Christianity Today, J. Howard Pew, and the Business of Conservative Evangelicalism

  • Darren E. Grem

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