Red-hot and Righteous: The Urban Religion of the Salvation Army
By: Diane Winston
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In this study of religion, urban life, and commercial culture, Diane Winston shows how a militant Protestant mission established a beachead in the modern city. When The Salvation Army, a British evangelical...Read more
In this study of religion, urban life, and commercial culture, Diane Winston shows how a militant Protestant mission established a beachead in the modern city. When The Salvation Army, a British evangelical movement, landed in New York in 1880, local citizens called its eye-catching advertisements "vulgar" and dubbed its brass bands, female preachers, and overheated services "sensationalist". Yet a little more than a century later, this missionary movement had evolved into the nation's largest charitable fund-raiser - the very exemplar of America's most cherished values of social service and religious committment. Winston illustrates how the Army borrowed the forms and idioms of popular entertainment, commerical emporiums, and master marketers to deliver its message. In contrast to histories that relegate religion to the sidelines of urban society, this text shows that the Salvationists were at the centre of debates about social services for the urban poor, the changing position of women, and the evolution of a consumer culture.
She also describes Salvationist influence on contemporary life - from the public's post-World War I love affair with the doughnut to the Salvationist lassie's career as a Hollywood icon to the institutionalization of religious ideals into non-sectarian social programmes.
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