By David Paul Nord
Within the twenty-first century, mass media firms are frequently obvious as profit-hungry funds machines. It was once a distinct global within the early days of mass verbal exchange in the USA. religion in studying tells the extraordinary tale of the noncommercial spiritual origins of our sleek media tradition. within the early 19th century, a number of visionary marketers determined the time used to be correct to arrive every person in the US throughout the medium of print. even though they have been sleek businessmen, their publishing businesses weren't advertisement companies yet nonprofit societies devoted to the e-book of conventional spiritual texts. Drawing on organizational stories and archival assets, David Paul Nord exhibits how the managers of Bible and spiritual tract societies made themselves into large-scale brands and vendors of print. those corporations believed it was once attainable to put a similar revealed message into the palms of each guy, lady, and baby in the USA. making use of glossy printing applied sciences and enterprise tools, they have been remarkably profitable, churning out thousands of Bibles, tracts, non secular books, and periodicals. They fastened giant campaigns to make books reasonable and ample through turning them into sleek, heavily produced shopper items. Nord demonstrates how non secular publishers realized to paintings opposed to the stream of standard trade. They believed that analyzing used to be too very important to be left to the "market revolution," in order that they became the marketplace on its head, looking to carry their product to each person, despite skill or perhaps wish to purchase. marriage ceremony glossy expertise and nationwide association to a standard religion in analyzing, those publishing societies imagined after which invented mass media in the USA.
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Extra resources for Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America (Religion in America)
In 1793, Samuel Hopkins imagined the millennium as an era of what we today would call mass media and globalization. He believed that in the millennium all people would again speak and read one universal language, as they had before Babel, and that this language would be used to communicate all knowledge to everyone. At times sounding more like a media economist than a theologian, Hopkins wrote that a universal language coupled with new printing technologies would “render books very cheap, and easy to be obtained by all.
Hopkins, however, did not share the sunny optimism or the faith in human agency of a political millennialist like Paine. Nor by the 1790s could he believe that the millennium was imminent; he expected the world to pass through a long period of tribulation and darkness (perhaps another 200 years) before the eventual but gradual dawn. In accordance with traditional Calvinist doctrines of the sovereignty of God and the depravity of man, Hopkins believed that the millennium would come “by the power and sovereign grace of Christ, .
1 In the 1760s, English authorities had reason to fear the independence of a voluntary association run entirely by religious dissenters 3,000 miles from Canterbury. A few years later, the American Revolution would sever this umbilical cord and inspire Americans to reimagine their world and to organize it in their own way. In 1787, the Boston gentlemen revived the plan of 1762 and launched the Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Indians and Others in North-America, the ﬁrst missionary society to be organized in the newly independent United States.