Righteous Riches The Word of Faith Movement in Contemporary African American Religion


Does God want us to be wealthy? Many people believe that God offers not only eternal joy in the hereafter but also material blessings in the here and now. Other Christians see this "prosperity theology," as nothing more than vulgar materialism, incompatible with orthodox Christianity. In Righteous Riches, Milmon F. Harrison examines the Word of Faith movement, an independent, non-denominational Christian movement that preaches the so-called "health and wealth gospel." Drawing on his personal experiences as a former insider and in-depth interviews with members, Harrison takes us inside the movement, revealing what it is like to belong, and how people accept, reject, and reshape Word of Faith doctrines to fit their own lives. Analyzing the movement's appeal to African Americans, Harrison argues that, because of their history of oppression and discrimination, African American religious institutions have always had to address the material - as well as spiritual - concerns of their members. Situating the movement in thecontexts of both contemporary American religions and the history of the Black Church, Righteous Riches offers a fascinating look at a quintessentially American phenomenon.

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