The Promotion of Devotion

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  • Title: The Promotion of Devotion: Saints, Celebrities and Shrines
  • Author(s): Donn James Tilson
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Religion in Society
  • Keywords: Religion, Promotional Communication, Worship, Saints, Shrines, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage
  • Year: 2011
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-883-5
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-86335-884-2
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Tilson, Donn James. 2011. The Promotion of Devotion: Saints, Celebrities and Shrines. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-884-2/CGP.
  • Extent: 300 pages


INTRODUCTORY OFFER As a special offer, all orders placed by 29 February 2012 will receive the introductory price of US$25 (RRP US$35). What do St. Francis, Oskar Schindler, Princess Diana and Smokey Bear have in common? Religion, communication and devotion form an inseparable trinity of being, interwoven strands of a tapestry that has enveloped all faiths through the ages. A closer examination of ancient-to-modern-day culture, including such “folk-hero-saints” as St. Francis and others, suggests that religion and devotion – oftentimes coated with a layer of promotion – lie at the heart of much of the history of communication and of civilization itself. Written in a lively yet informative style, The Promotion of Devotion is the first comprehensive analysis of the convergence of religion and promotional communication from historical origins to modern times. Ten chapters take the reader on a journey through unexplored territory from an introduction to sainthood across faith traditions, the interplay of religion and communication in the making of saints – religious and secular (and animal) – discussions of town and vestment partnerships, road tours of the sacred, the use of the arts to promote devotion, to heavenly endorsements, lost shrines and re-animation. A concluding chapter reflects on the implications of the intersection of devotion and communication. Chapters provide a look at the sacred across a wide spectrum of faith traditions, illustrated with a selection of intriguing photos. “an acknowledged authority in the public relations field” Dr. Bonnie J. Knutson, Broad College of Business, Michigan State University Dr. Lisa Fall, School of Advertising & Public Relations, University of Tennessee “an intriguing and… original study of contemporary religious practice. I know of no comparable work that tackles the topic from the distinctive standpoint of public relations” Dr. Richard H. Roberts, former Professor and Dean of Divinity, University of St Andrews, and Visiting Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, University of Stirling, Scotland “good and important work…as moral philosophers and applied ethicists, we cannot continue to ignore religion – and of course we cannot continue to ignore it in any of our fields of inquiry” Dr. Sherry Baker, Department of Communications, Brigham Young University