Church and Estate

Religion and Wealth in Industrial-Era Philadelphia

By (author) Thomas F. Rzeznik

Hardback - £57.95

Publication date:

20 June 2013

Length of book:

304 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271059679

In Church and Estate, Thomas Rzeznik examines the lives and religious commitments of the Philadelphia elite during the period of industrial prosperity that extended from the late nineteenth century through the 1920s. The book demonstrates how their religious beliefs informed their actions and shaped their class identity, while simultaneously revealing the ways in which financial influences shaped the character of American religious life. In tracing those connections, it shows how religion and wealth shared a fruitful, yet ultimately tenuous, relationship.

“In this remarkably rich and revealing book, Thomas Rzeznik has rediscovered the marrow and meaning of religion for the elite classes of Philadelphians. Rzeznik brings rare sensitivity and common sense to a subject too much the domain of pundits quick to dismiss the integrity of upper-class faith and too little the focus of sustained historical analysis. The result is a finely wrought book that should re-open discussions of the religious impulses of Progressivism and renew considerations of the centrality of religion in modern American life.”

—Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph’s University