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Chapter Summary

Class matters in American religion. This is hardly news to those outside of academia. Across the United States, living wage campaigns join the moral authority and political access of clergy and congregations to raise wages for low-wage city workers. Efforts to link religion and class in capitalist society are as old as the modern humanities and social sciences disciplines. Some scholars argued that religion, institutionally and ideologically, functioned as a means of control for the dominant classes. Karl Marx and Max Weber loom large in the historiography of religion and class studies. For Marx, religion was an ideological problem that impeded class consciousness. For Weber, religionProtestantism in particularwas less important as a means for controlling workers than as a means for capitalists to legitimate their own class interests. Today, Pentecostalism is the fastest growing style of Christianity in both the United States and the world.

Keywords: American religion; Christianity; Karl Marx; Max Weber; Pentecostalism; Protestantism



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