Religious Economies, Spiritual Entrepreneurs, Evangelical Celebrities

Supply and demand, that delicate relationship between producers and consumers, is perhaps the central dynamic of a market economy. In an hour when all eyes are fixed on the shifting sands of the financial market, Tulane sociologist Shayne Lee has published a book that applies the economic model of supply and demand to a different kind of commerce.

A new book by Tulane sociologist Shayne Lee examines the success of five pastors who are influential leaders in American Protestantism. (Photo by Nick Marinello)

Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace examines the success of five pastors who are among the most influential contemporary leaders in American Protestantism.

“Our goal was not to provide an objective analysis of these five religious celebrities. Our goal was to explain their appeal,” says Lee, assistant professor of sociology, who co-wrote the book with historian Phillip Luke Sinitiere.

“We used the theory of religious economy to show why some religious suppliers are able to attract large followings while others are not,” says Lee, who in 2005 published T.D. Jakes: America’s New Preacher, a critical examination of the most influential African American preacher on the pulpit today.

Read the rest of the article at Tulane’s website.

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