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The Pew and the Picket LineChristianity and the American Working Class$
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Heath W Carter and Janine Giordano Drake

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039997

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039997.001.0001

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Between the Pew and the Picket Line

Between the Pew and the Picket Line

(p.1) Introduction Between the Pew and the Picket Line
The Pew and the Picket Line

Christopher D. Cantwell

Heath W. Carter

Janine Giordano Drake

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter gathers a number of local histories and suggests that although many Americans worshipped in churches and worked on shop floors, most lived in the space between the pew and the picket line. This space includes Pentecostal miners who had faith in prosperity and sought miracles at the mine; automobile workers and sympathetic ministers evangelizing one another on the shop floor; and black sharecroppers and white Protestant liberals who saw the creation of a credit union as an investment in a more cooperative capitalism. The chapter covers a vast chronological and geographic scope and draws upon the diverse experiences of the American workforce, arguing that the space between the pew and the picket line is not only where most Americans have lived, but where the contours of both American Christianity and American capitalism have been shaped.

Keywords:   American Christianity, American capitalism, Pentecostal miners, black sharecroppers, Protestant liberals, American workforce, credit union

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