Persons of the Market : Conservatism, Corporate Personhood, and Economic Theology
Kevin Musgrave

Taking corporate personhood as a starting point, Persons of the Market observes the complex historical entanglement of Christian theology and liberal capitalism to shed new light on their seemingly odd marriage in contemporary American politics. Author Kevin Musgrave highlights the ways that theories of corporate and human personhood have long been and remain bound together by examining four case studies: the U.S. Supreme Court's 1886 Santa Clara decision, the role of early twentieth-century advertisers in endowing corporations with souls, Justice Lewis Powell Jr.'s eponymous memo of 1971, and the arc of the conservative movement from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump. Tracing this rhetorical history of the extension and attribution of personhood to the corporate form illustrates how the corporation has for many increasingly become a normative model or ideal to which human persons should aspire. In closing, the book offers preliminary ideas about how we might fashion a more democratic and humane understanding of what it means to be a person.

Michigan State University Press
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