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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Commodities and the Power of Prayer: Pentecostalist Attitudes Towards Consumption in Contemporary Ghana
Author:Meyer, BirgitISNI
Year:1998
Periodical:Development and Change
Volume:29
Issue:4
Period:October
Pages:751-776
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:Baptist Church
consumption
Religion and Witchcraft
Economics and Trade
Link:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00098
Abstract:This article addresses the success of Pentecostalism, a global religious movement par excellence, throughout postcolonial Africa. It is based on fieldwork carried out among the Peki, who are part of the Ewe, in southeastern Ghana and Accra in 1990, 1991 and 1996. Investigating Pentecostalist views of and attitudes towards commodities, the author shows that Pentecostalists represent the modern global economy as enchanted and themselves as agents of disenchantment: only through prayer may commodities cease to act as 'fetishes' which threaten the personal integrity and identity of their owners. Pentecostalism creates modern consumers through a ritual of prayer, which helps them handle globalization and control foreign commodities in such a way that they can be consumed without danger. Through prayer, commodities cease to possess their owners; the latter are rather enabled to possess the former. Pentecostalism engages in globalization by enabling its members to consume products from the global market and by offering its followers fixed orientation points and a well-delimited moral universe within globalization's unsettling flows. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.
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