This introductory chapter charts a brief history of how American Protestantism had developed in conjunction with modern consumer capitalism. There are many points of entry to this corporate evangelical network, but the story that follows focuses on one of its key institutions, the Moody Bible Institute (MBI) in Chicago. The MBI was founded by the salesman-turned-revivalist Dwight L. Moody, the most important evangelical of the late nineteenth century. He ingeniously weaved disparate ideas drawn from business and religion into a compelling, if unstable, form of evangelical Protestantism. After Moody's death in 1899, a second generation of evangelicals led by Henry Parsons Crowell transformed MBI in significant ways. They shifted focus from converting the working classes to influencing middle-class Protestantism and swapped their overarching metaphor of industrial work with modern consumption.
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