The Profits of Religion

The Profits of Religion

By Upton Sinclair
Book Description

It is not too much to say that today no daily newspaper in any large American city dares to attack the emoluments of the Catholic Church, or to advocate restrictions upon the ecclesiastical machine. -from "Holy History" Few readers have not heard of Upton Sinclair's 1906 book The Jungle, his fictionalized account of Chicago's meatpacking industry, which set in motion dramatic social and governmental changes and highlighted the power of investigative journalism. But his 1918 book The Profits of Religion, a viciously witty censure of religious institutions in America, remains unjustly obscure. Drolly but bitterly subtitled "an essay in economic interpretation," this potent book condemns religious leaders for taking advantage of the credulity and hopefulness of ordinary Americans to line their own pockets and amass political influence. Not merely a brilliant work of persuasive journalism, this is also a document of the idealistic socialism that lingered after World War I, when the triumph of the movement's ideal still seemed possible. American writer UPTON SINCLAIR (1878-1968) was an active socialist and contributor to many socialist publications. His muckracking books include The Moneychangers (1908), King Coal (1917), Oil! (1927), and Boston (1928).

Table of Contents
    • An Essay in Economic Interpretation
      • Bootstrap-lifting? says the reader.
    • BOOK ONE — The Church of the Conquerors
    • The Priestly Lie
    • The Great Fear
    • Salve Regina!
    • Fresh Meat
    • Priestly Empires
    • Prayer-wheels
    • The Butcher-Gods
    • The Holy Inquisition
    • Hell-Fire
    • BOOK TWO — The Church of Good Society
    • The Babylonian Fire-god
    • The Medicine-men
    • The Canonization of Incompetence
    • Gibson's Preservative
    • The Elders
    • Church History
    • Land and Livings
    • Graft in Tail
    • Bishops and Beer
    • Anglicanism and Alcohol
    • Dead Cats
    • Suffer Little Children
    • The Court Circular
    • Horn-blowing
    • Trinity Corporation
    • Spiritual Interpretation
    • BOOK THREE — The Church of the Servant-girls
    • Charity
    • God's Armor
    • Thanksgivings
    • The Holy Roman Empire
    • Temporal Power
    • Knights of Slavery
    • Priests and Police
    • The Church Militant
    • The Church Triumphant
    • God in the Schools
    • The Menace
    • King Coal
    • The Unholy Alliance
    • Secret Service
    • Tax Exemption
    • "Holy History"
    • Das Centrum
    • BOOK FOUR — The Church of the Slavers
    • Face of Caesar
    • Deutschland ueber Alles
    • Der Tag.
    • King Cotton
    • Witches and Women
    • Moth and Rust
    • The Octopus
    • The Industrial Shelley
    • The Outlook for Graft
    • Clerical Camouflage
    • The Jungle
    • BOOK FIVE — The Church of the Merchants
    • The Head Merchant
    • "Herr Beeble"
    • Holy Oil
    • Rhetorical Black-hanging
    • The Great American Fraud
    • Riches in Glory
    • Captivating Ideals
    • Spook Hunting
    • Running the Rapids
    • Birth Control
    • Sheep
    • BOOK SIX — The Church of the Quacks
    • Tabula Rasa
    • The Book of Mormon
    • Holy Rolling
    • Bible Prophecy
    • Koreshanity
    • Mazdaznan
    • Black Magic
    • Mental Malpractice
    • Science and Wealth
    • New Nonsense
    • "Dollars Want Me"
    • Spiritual Financiering
    • The Graft of Grace
    • BOOK SEVEN — The Church of the Social Revolution
    • Christ and Caesar
    • Locusts and Wild Honey
    • Mother Earth
    • The Soap Box
    • The Church Machine
    • The Church Redeemed
    • The Desire of Nations
    • The Knowable
    • Nature's Insurgent Son
    • The New Morality
    • Envoi
    • Reader:
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