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- DescriptionThere is an important if largely unremarked diversity within African Christianity; on the one hand, an enchanted Christianity that views the world as pervaded by spiritual forces, and on the other a disenchanted Christianity that discounts them. An enchanted Christian sees his glorious destiny threatened by witches, spirits, and ancestral curses. Churches catering for this worldview lay bare the workings of this spirit world, and this enchanted imagination, along with the prosperity gospel, and emphasis on the pastor's ainting, are the principal characteristics of much African Pentecostalism. Gifford argues that the enchanted religious imagination militates against development by encouraging fear and distrust, diminishing human responsibility and agency, and downplaying functional rationality. The prosperity gospel of covenant wealth from tithes and offerings is the antithesis of Weber's Protestant ethic; and to magnify the person of the pastor is to perpetuate the curse of the Big Man. Official Catholicism, totally disenchanted and long associated with schools and hospitals, is w involved in development, from microfinance to election monitoring, from conflict resolution to human rights. This NGO-ization of Catholicism, made almost inevitable by funding from secular dors like the EU and UN, even if defended theologically, comes at the price of failing to address the religious needs of so many African Christians.
- Author BiographyPaul Gifford teaches in the Department for the Study of Religions at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of several works on African Christianity, including Ghana's New Christianity.
- Author(s)Professor Paul Gifford
- PublisherOxford University Press, USA
- Date of Publication01/03/2016
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectChristian History & Denominations
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintOxford University Press, USA
- Weight272 g
- Width137 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine13 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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