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«Succeed Here and in Eternity»

The Prosperity Gospel in Ghana

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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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Chapter 1: The Fruit of Personal and Pastoral Experiences

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CHAPTER 1

The Fruit of Personal and Pastoral Experiences

This book is a qualitative study of the Prosperity Gospel (or the Gospel of Prosperity)1 and its soteriological significance with respect to the Charismatic/Neo-Pentecostal Churches in Ghana. The motivation for this study comes first and foremost from my pastoral experiences with the Prosperity Gospel and secondly, as a response to the Church’s2 call, and to the prevailing world situation of Christianity.

The Prosperity Gospel is a phenomenon I have had to confront now and then in my pastoral work as a Catholic priest since my ordination in 1999. Two particular instances are worth mentioning here. From September 2004 to September 2007 I was appointed curate of the St. Kizito’s Catholic Parish of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tamale located in Kpandae, a district of the Northern Region of Ghana. Upon my arrival in St. Kizito’s Parish after my appointment, the parish priest whom I was to assist briefed me about the pastoral situation of the parish. One of the issues he informed me about was the fact that he had suspended common and inter-church programmes and relations with “our sister churches”3 indefinitely, because he had realized that “the Charismatic Churches steal our parishioners”. Upon further enquiries he explained that a good number of his parishioners had left and joined the Charismatic Churches in search of miracles in the form of healing and economic betterment, among other things. He ← 1 | 2...

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