Religion in Vogue: Christianity and Fashion in America

New York Univ. Dec. 2019. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781479892709. $89;. pap. ISBN 9781479813599. $28;. REL
This latest from Neal (religious studies, Wake Forest Univ., NC; coauthor, Religious Intolerance in America) was not conceived to be an ethnographic study of religious symbols or garments worn by adherents of a particular tradition. Instead, the author intends to examine religion from the viewpoint of the fashion industry through its interpretation and inclusion of Christian symbols in dress and jewelry. Neal consulted fashion magazines and newspapers, as well as other primary and secondary sources in the fields of religion, advertising, sociology, and history. The author considers the inspirations of various designers and explores how advertising and marketing framed religious symbols, devotions, and icons into a commodity for trend-setting audiences, all of which culminates in a provocative conclusion that lends itself to further discussion.
VERDICT With an academic focus, this extensively researched, fascinating account of two distinct arenas of thought and forms of expression will be essential for students and scholars of religion, fashion, cultural studies, and sociology.

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