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«Succeed Here and in Eternity»

The Prosperity Gospel in Ghana


Wilfred Asampambila Agana

This book presents a qualitative study of the «Gospel of Prosperity» preached by the Charismatic and Neo-Pentecostal churches in Ghana, with a particular focus on its soteriological significance. The author explores the concept of the Gospel of Prosperity from a number of different angles, surveying its historical and ideological background, analysing its specific context in a Ghanaian environment and, finally, looking at its theological and soteriological relevance, compared with classical Christian teaching and especially Catholic systematic teaching. The theological investigation carried out here reveals both divergences and convergences, demonstrating areas where the Catholic tradition is challenged by the Gospel of Prosperity as well as vice versa. This analysis of the strengths and weaknesses within both traditions constitutes a springboard for a possible dialogue and access to common ground. Such a dialogue should be of great interest not only because of its significance for theological scholarship, but also because of the practical influence it could have on the lives of Christians, both in Ghana and elsewhere in the West African subregion.
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The successful conclusion of my PhD thesis, culminating in the publication of this revised version in book form, has only been made possible by the support of a number of people.

Foremost, I wish to thank the Diocese of Münster in the persons of Auxiliary Bishops Friedrich Ostermann (retired) and Stefan Zekorn for sponsoring a significant portion of this project, and the bishops of the Archdiocese of Tamale, Ghana, Gregory Kpiebaya (retired) and Philip Naameh, for facilitating the project.

I also thank my academic supervisors Dorothea Sattler and Margit Eckholt for their valuable mentoring role during the research stage.

In particular, I wish to register my gratitude to the following persons for their support in editing and proofreading various versions of the text at various phases: Maria Borken, Erika Eichholzer, Claudia Maria Korsmeier and Kofi Ron Lange.

I am also grateful to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland and the Deutscher Ökumenischer Studienausschuss (DÖSTA) who through their Ecumenical Research Fund (Ökumenischer Forschungsfonds) have part-financed the publication of this work.

My thanks go also to the team at Peter Lang for their help, especially Christabel Scaife for her useful interventions.

Last but not least, I wish to express my thanks to all and sundry who have contributed in various ways to the realization of this work. ← ix | x →

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