PhD Candidate Gabriel Raeburn has received the 2020 Dissertation Grant from the National Institute of Social Sciences. The news has been announced the National Institute website, where Grants Committee Chairman Jonathan Piel stated:
"Mr. Raeburn won against stiff competition from several other excellent candidates ... and this year’s competition was the most extensive the National Institute has conducted in the history of its Seed Grant (now Dissertation Grant) program."
We are very proud!
For more on Mr. Raeburn and his research, read on:
Mr. Raeburn’s dissertation traces the rise and influence of the Prosperity Gospel, the belief that material wealth is a sign of God’s blessing and that poverty results from a lack of faith, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Raeburn centers Pentecostals in the Southwest and Midwest rather than mainstream evangelicals on the East and West coasts as key drivers of religious transformation in postwar American politics and culture. Longtime religious outsiders, Pentecostals remade the American religious landscape through institution building and an explosion in religious broadcasting that embraced wealth and produced colorblind defenses of inequality. Rather than viewing the Religious Right as a political movement focused purely on conservative social issues, such as opposition to abortion rights or feminism, he explores the ways in which religious actors simultaneously provided support for free-market capitalism and economically conservative policies.
The 2020 National Institute Dissertation Grant supports research in two political and religious archives that help illuminate the relationship between Pentecostals and conservative politicians and strategists throughout the 1980s. Prior to the University of Pennsylvania, Raeburn received his M.St. in U.S. History from the University of Oxford and his B.A. in American Studies and Politics from the University of Sussex.