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«Pastures of Plenty»: Tracing Religio-Scapes of Prosperity Gospel in Africa and Beyond

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Edited By Andreas Heuser

Prosperity Gospel, a controversial strand in global Christianity, relates material wealth to divine blessing. Originating in American Pentecostal milieus, it is most successful in Africa. Authors from four continents present interdisciplinary, multi-sited and comparative analyses of Prosperity Gospel in Africa and beyond. Prosperity theologies adapt to varied political contexts and travel outside Pentecostalism into the wider religious arena. Its components trigger discourses within ecumenical Christianity and are transformed in transnational Christian networks of migrants; they turn up in African shrine religion and African Islam. Pastures of Plenty maps the evolving religio-scapes of Prosperity Gospel.
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An Activist-Holiness Kenneth Hagin? A Case Study of Prosperity Theology in the Philippines

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← 64 | 65 → Giovanni Maltese1

Abstract Prosperity theology and holiness theology are frequently regarded as irreconcilable antitheses in Pentecostal Studies and both as opposed to “structural” approaches to poverty alleviation.2 This is different in Dumaguete Philippines. Here, prosperity theology is holiness theology and it is oftentimes framed along issues that relate to the Filipino nation and society. Analyzing articulations on prosperity, this chapter will show how causes and solutions for poverty are debated among pastors and how they lead to different practices.

Drawing on extensive field work (2009-2014) I argue that holiness theology became a means of rationalization vis-à-vis the failures of prosperity teachings to deliver on its promises. Providing a language for articulating moral critique of both, individuals and social conditions as a whole, it leads to an alternative explanation for the failures of development in terms that include collective and structural sin. Accordingly, the confession and seed-faith principles, inherited from the Word-of-Faith-Movement are turned collective, which leads to different forms of social and political engagement as remedy for poverty.

God desires to prosper us. (…) But there are times when- (breaks off) number one, I believe in the power of the Word and I believe God likes to prosper us. Uh, God loves the prosperity of His people. (…) But I (…) do not (…) like Say, some people practice, if they see a beautiful car, oh, this is mine. Lord, I claim it in the Name of Jesus, something like that.3

Prosperity theology...

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