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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Delivered from the Spirit of Poverty?': Pentecostalism, Prosperity and Modernity in Zimbabwe
Author:Maxwell, David J.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:Baptist Church
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1581574
Abstract:Taking up the challenge that so far throughout the world little attention has been paid to the relation between Pentecostalism and economic culture, the author examines the prosperity gospel propounded by the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God, Africa (ZAOGA), which claims to be the largest church in Zimbabwe. Most of its leaders make use of American Bible belt literature which dissuades adherents from evaluating the present economic order by encouraging them to try to benefit from it to the top of their bent. The emphasis falls heavily on the individual. Despite what seems to be a prevalent American influence, on closer inspection this appears to be the icing on the cake and that the dominant prosperity teachings are largely derived from indigenous southern African sources and are shaped by Zimbabwean concerns. The system enables the Pentecostalists to make the best of rapid social change, at the same time often maintaining a solid Shona base. In his conclusion the author points out that many of the born-again Pentecostalists in Zimbabwe are not solely motivated by economic gain and, unlike their aberrant leaders, their tendency to accumulate is moderated by other more fundamental biblical doctrines like tithing and Christian charity. In some ways the ZAOGA is a victim of its own success. Some young second-generation members are calling for reform, but the author is not sanguine about their chances for success in the present economic climate in Zimbabwe. Bibliogr., notes, ref.