Date of Graduation

Fall 2010

Degree

Master of Arts in Writing

Department

English

Committee Chair

Kristene Sutliff

Keywords

religious marketing, self-help, technology, televangelism, megachurch, spiritualism

Subject Categories

Creative Writing

Abstract

Religion in America has always involved competition among various religious organizations to gain adherents. America was built on the ideal of one's right to choose the religion he or she wished to practice creating a commodity of people for which the churches competed. Historically, churches have relied on denominational alliances and theological variances to quietly market their brand of religion as a superior product. The 1960s brought a generation that questioned authority in all its forms, and churches were not immune from an open rebellion against tenets that were held devoutly for centuries. With a fear of a complete moral meltdown in America, evangelical Protestant church leaders began using every available form of marketing that was available to them to combat social, intellectual, and political ideologies that were in direct contradiction of the literal teachings of the Bible. This study looks at the ways evangelicals have evolved to effectively use technology and marketing strategies to appeal to a customer that has evolved from rebellion to theological indifference. The study finds that a paradigm shift has occurred in the way American evangelicals position a product to satisfy consumer tastes in a competitive marketplace. It further finds that many religious organizations are forced to adopt technological advances and unorthodox marketing strategies to remain viable.

Copyright

© Timothy H. Knox

Campus Only

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