Religion, Art, and Money
Peter W. Williams
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Religion/Theologie
This cultural history of mainline Protestantism and American cities--most notably, New York City--focuses on wealthy, urban Episcopalians and the influential ways they used their money. Peter W. Williams argues that such Episcopalians, many of them the country's most successful industrialists and financiers, left a deep and lasting mark on American urban culture. Their sense of public responsibility derived from a sacramental theology that gave credit to the material realm as a vehicle for religious experience and moral formation, and they came to be distinguished by their participation in major aesthetic and social welfare endeavors.
Williams traces how the church helped transmit a European-inflected artistic patronage that was adapted to the American scene by clergy and laity intent upon providing moral and aesthetic leadership for a society in flux. Episcopalian influence is most visible today in the churches, cathedrals, and elite boarding schools that stand in many cities and other locations, but Episcopalians also provided major support to the formation of stellar art collections, the performing arts, and the Arts and Crafts movement. Williams argues that Episcopalians thus helped smooth the way for acceptance of materiality in religious culture in a previously iconoclastic, Puritan-influenced society.
American urban culture, George G. Booth, St. George’s Church, New York, Vida Scudder, Bruton Parish Church, institutional church, Broad Church, art museum, cathedral, Calvary Church, Pittsburgh, St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, Grace Cathedral, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, St. Thomas Church, New York, Gilded Age, Social Gospel, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Endicott Peabody, St. Paul’s School, Richard T. Ely, Phillips Brooks, settlement house, All Saints Ashmont, Henry Codman Potter, Groton School, H.H. Richardson, Progressive era, William Cooper Procter, Trinity Church, New York, Episcopal Church, J.P. Morgan, Choate Rosemary Hall, Church of the Advent, Romanesque revival, Cranbrook, Arts and Crafts movement, W.D.P. Bliss, John Ruskin, Anglicanism, F.D. Maurice, cultural philanthropy, Harry Burleigh, Episcopalian, Trinity Church, Boston, William Rainsford, art collecting, Anglo-Catholicism, National Cathedral, American religious history, prep school, Gothic revival, Ralph Adams Cram, Henry Ford