Faithful Foundations: Unveiling the Moral Roots of American Capitalism

Apr 25, 2024 | aging, books, culture, Health, politics, seniors, technology

The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Interview Series

Welcome to another riveting episode of the Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Interview Series, on radio and podcast, where today we embark on a fascinating journey through time, exploring the dynamic intersections of faith, fortune, and the foundational fabric of American society with returning guest, Smithsonian Associate Joseph Slaughter,

In this episode, we are expanding on our recent interview with Smithsonian Associate Joseph Slaughter, Assistant Professor of History at Wesleyan University and we dive into the pages of Joseph’s compelling new book, “Faith in Markets,” which offers a groundbreaking exploration of the 19th-century Protestant revivals and the dramatic expansion of the marketplace. Today Smithsonian Associate Joseph Slaughter  will tell us about visionary entrepreneurs who, driven by their faith, embarked on business ventures that aimed not just at profit, but at molding a moral and Christian marketplace. From the sophisticated textile factories of George Rapp & Associates to the virtuous publishing endeavors of Harper & Brothers, we uncover how these pioneers attempted to weave their religious convictions with their commercial aspirations.

But how does this historical tapestry relate to us today? In an age where the lines between secular and sacred seem more pronounced, the tales of the Pioneer Stage Coach Line, George Rapp & Associates, and Harper & Brothers remind us that the marketplace has always been a battleground for moral and ethical ideologies. Their efforts to integrate business practices with religious beliefs provide a mirror, reflecting our ongoing struggles and aspirations for a moral economy.

This episode is not just a journey through time; it’s an invitation to reflect on the principles that guide our modern marketplace. Are we building a world of commerce that uplifts, reforms, and unites? Or have we strayed from the visions that once sought to harmonize morality with markets?

My thanks to Smithsonian Associate Joseph Slaughter, Assistant Professor of History at Wesleyan University.  Dr. Joseph Slaughter will be appearing at Smithsonian Associates coming up, so please check out our show notes today for more details. My thanks to the Smithsonian team for all they do to support the show.  My thanks to you, our wonderful audience here on radio and podcast. My thanks to Executive Producer, Sam Heninger.  Please be well, be safe, and Let’s Talk About Better™.  The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Interview Series on radio and podcast.  Thanks, everybody and we’ll see you next week.  For more information about Smithsonian Associates, please click here: