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«Succeed Here and in Eternity»

The Prosperity Gospel in Ghana

Series:

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 2: The Phenomenon of the Prosperity Gospel

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CHAPTER 2

The Phenomenon of the Prosperity Gospel

Terminologies and Concepts

The Prosperity Concept

The Prosperity Gospel is the terminology used by religious scholars and commentators to describe a Christian religious doctrine that associates the prosperity of the human being directly with the belief and worship of God in a consequential way.1 However, careful attention has to be given to the fact that the term prosperity lends itself to different interpretations by different social and cultural systems and traditions, which equally applies to the whole concept of the Prosperity Gospel. In addition to this, the understanding of what prosperity means is not static, but changes with situation and generations. For instance the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index2 offers a unique insight into how prosperity is forming and changing across the world: ← 17 | 18 →

Traditionally, a nation’s prosperity has been based solely on macroeconomic indicators such as a country’s income, represented either by GDP or by average income per person (GDP per capita). However, most people would agree that prosperity is more than just the accumulation of material wealth; it is also the joy of everyday life and the prospect of being able to build an even better life in the future. The Prosperity Index is distinctive in that it is the only global measurement of prosperity based on both income and wellbeing.3

This means that it should be expected that the concept of the Prosperity...

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