Ghana's New Christianity / Edition 1

Ghana's New Christianity / Edition 1

by Paul Gifford
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0253217237

ISBN-13: 2900253217232

Pub. Date: 07/01/2004

Publisher: Indiana University Press

In sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades there has been an explosion of Christianity. This book sets out to identify its particular character, focusing on a particular place: Greater Accra, the capital of Ghana. Paul Gifford examines a wide range of Accra's new churches, giving priority to mega-churches. Every dimension -- discourse, theological vision, worship

Overview

In sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades there has been an explosion of Christianity. This book sets out to identify its particular character, focusing on a particular place: Greater Accra, the capital of Ghana. Paul Gifford examines a wide range of Accra's new churches, giving priority to mega-churches. Every dimension -- discourse, theological vision, worship, rituals, music, media involvement, use of the Bible, conventions, finances, clientele -- is analysed. Gifford argues that this Christianity is not otherworldly: its emphasis is on success, achievement, wealth here and now. Yet within this general orientation there is diversity. At one end of the spectrum are churches that, building on the traditional religious imagination, see demonic forces everywhere blocking personal success. The key factor is the special 'man of God' who is understood to have the 'anointing' to conquer these forces, to 'reverse the curse' that is holding the believer back. At the other end is a strain of this new Christianity that discounts spiritual forces and sees victory resulting from the believer's own education and skills, and from transforming culture. The book also joins the debate over the role of this Christianity in modernizing economic and political structures. It sets the scene by describing Ghana's political and economic situation in the decades when these churches were proliferating, and outlines the current debate on the reasons for Africa's economic plight. It is argued that although focusing on success and wealth can provide motivation in circumstances where it is so easy to despair, the pervasive emphasis on miracles militates against any natural fostering of a new work ethic.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900253217232
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgementsvii
Abbreviationsxiii
Map of Ghanaxv
1.The Context, the Debate1
Rawlings and Ghana1
Economic failure3
Governance6
Political culture12
Transition17
2.Paradigm Shift20
The mainline or 'orthodox'20
The newcomers23
Services27
The media30
Reaction40
3.Recurring Emphases44
Success44
'Winning Ways'53
Winners' Chapel56
Finances61
Biblical71
4.Deliverance and the Prophetic83
African religion83
Deliverance85
Prophet Salifu90
Other prophetic churches102
Moral agency107
5.Mensa Otabil and Cultural Adjustment113
Origins and development113
Message117
Culture125
A different voice132
6.Economic Role140
Motivation140
The miraculous144
The place of work150
Ghanaian doubts156
7.Political Role161
Spiritualising politics161
'Implicit politics'169
The 2000 transition172
Reform of culture181
8.Conclusion191
Bibliography201
Index213

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