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Anointed With Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America

General Programming, Climate Series

dateNovember 1, 2022 timeTuesday, 5:30pm–7:00pm EDT locationVirtual Event
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Institute for Religion and Public Life
  • Center for American Studies
  • Columbia Climate School
  • Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
Poster for Anointed With Oil with speakers and information listed

A conversation with Darren Dochuk (University of Notre Dame). Moderated by Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia University).

Few would question petroleum’s historical importance to our nation or the critical role that Christianity has played in shaping its contours. Yet what happens if we link both entities together and place them at the center of modern American history? In this talk, Darren Dochuk explores how, from its earliest discovery during the Civil War to the present, this liquid resource assumed sacred form as the nation's special blessing and its peculiar burden, the source of its prophetic mission in the world. In the boardrooms, drill sites, pulpits, and pews of this country’s oil patches, meanwhile, petroleum executives, wildcat producers, and rank-and-file workers who mutually embraced oil as God’s gift fundamentally transformed US religion and politics—boosting America's ascent as the preeminent global power, fueling the rise of the evangelical Republican Right, and setting the terms for today's debates over energy and environment. With an eye to current trends and America’s moment of crisis, Dochuk measures the legacies of religion and oil’s distinctive bond.