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Religion in VogueChristianity and Fashion in America$
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Lynn S. Neal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479892709

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479892709.001.0001

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Designing New Ways of Seeing Christianity

Designing New Ways of Seeing Christianity

(p.19) 1 Designing New Ways of Seeing Christianity
Religion in Vogue

Lynn S. Neal

NYU Press

This chapter examines the religion-oriented articles published by fashion magazines from the mid-1940s through the 1960s. These articles provide a valuable starting point for understanding how fashion conceptualized Christianity during this time. By fusing elements of liberal Protestantism and Catholic art and ritual in their construction of Christianity, fashion magazine articles fostered religious individualism, spiritual tourism, and the decontextualization of Christian elements. After establishing the religious context of the mid-twentieth century, this chapter examines three prominent themes—Christmas, church, and pilgrimage—through which this fashionable vision of Christianity was conveyed. Fashion magazines taught readers how to cultivate a stylish form of Christianity that aligned the sophistication of modernity with the enchantment of religion.

Keywords:   religion, fashion, Christianity, liberal Protestantism, Catholicism, individualism, tourism, enchantment, Christmas, pilgrimage

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