Manual Pentecostalism and Prosperity: The Socio-Economics of the Global Charismatic Movement

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Sign In Forgot password? Don't have an account? Association for the Sociology of Religion members Sign in via society site. Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. The final section concludes. Religion may correlate with earnings through various pathways.

The Pentecostal or Charismatic Gospel

For example, religion may influence individual earnings indirectly , through social networks, labor market experiences, and education, all of which differ for members of different religious groups Keister , ; Lehrer , ; Massengill ; Sherkat While this may also apply in Ghana, the relationship between religion and wealth is beyond the scope of this study. Religion may also influence earnings directly , through religious teachings and beliefs that pertain to wages and financial success Keister Most studies of religion focus on the indirect mechanisms.

This section will discuss the theoretical links between these mechanisms and existing empirical research and will discuss how the pathways apply to Ghana. First, religious denomination may have indirect impacts on the individual's wages or income. Multiple studies reveal the importance of social networks in the relative success of different religious groups. For example, advantaged social networks have been found to contribute to the advantage of Jewish individuals in the United States in a number of socioeconomic outcomes such as wages, educational attainment, and wealth accumulation Keister , ; Lehrer , Likewise, disadvantaged social networks contribute to the lower wages of conservative U.


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Protestants Massengill ; Sherkat In addition, conservative Protestants often view the Bible as the inerrant word of God, and this leads them to view a large accumulation of wealth as undesirable Keister This leads to lower numbers of conservative Protestants in higher paying occupations, and therefore disadvantages in terms of social networks.

Research in the United States also suggests a relationship between religion and educational attainment.

Māori and a Pentecostal Theology of Social Engagement

In particular, a number of studies have determined that conservative Protestants have relatively low education compared to mainline Protestants Chiswick ; Darnell and Sherkat ; Lehrer , ; Sherkat and Darnell and that Catholics have been converging to mainline Protestants in their educational attainment in recent years Darnell and Sherkat ; Lehrer ; Sherkat and Darnell Another indirect pathway that may affect individual earnings, particularly for women, relates to gender roles.

Women's fertility and employment decisions can influence earnings; therefore, membership in religious groups that encourage women to have more children and do more of the household work may have a negative impact on female earnings. Studies of women in the United States have, in fact, found differentials among religious groups in labor force participation rates Chiswick ; Glass and Jacobs ; Glass and Nath ; Hartman and Hartman ; Lehrer , ; Lehrer and Chen ; Sherkat and fertility rates Heaton and Cornwall ; Lehrer ; Mosher and Hendershot that affect wages.

In Ghana, religion may influence earnings through each of these indirect pathways. The authors attribute the high scores to a strong social network that offers social and economic support. Second, religion in Ghana may influence earnings through educational attainment. The authors argue that their findings reflect distrust of secular education among some groups, particularly in the Muslim faith, as well as the fact that Ghana has only one Islamic university. While religion in Africa may have less of an influence on gender roles than on other continents Soothill , we suspect religion may affect earnings through gender roles in Ghana.

In particular, we believe female members of charismatic churches may possess or develop skills to overcome paternalistic features of Ghanaian society.

The Prosperity Gospel: Its Concise Theology, Challenges and Opportunities | GAFCON

Therefore, we hypothesize that religious affiliation has some correlation with gender roles and will examine the relationship between religion and earned income separately for women and men to capture gender differentials. Religion may also directly influence earnings in Ghana.

However, it may also apply to the widespread belief in the influence of spirits, for example, if an individual believes an evil spirit is prohibiting financial success, releasing of that evil spirit may provide that individual with energy, helping him or her succeed Gifford a. To summarize, religion may indirectly influence earnings in Ghana through access to social networks, educational attainment, and gender roles; it may also directly influence earnings through attitudes about income or through perceived influence of spirits.

The theoretical relationship between religion and income in Ghana is therefore quite complex, and the literature leaves many gaps to be filled. In this study, by controlling for appropriate variables, such as education, we begin to disentangle some of these pathways. However, the links between religion, socioeconomic outcomes, and earnings remain complex. On top of possible endogeneity, other variables not present in our dataset may correlate with both religious choices and earnings, such as mental and physical health, entrance into deviant behavior, and even marriage stability Iannaccone For these reasons, it is virtually impossible to determine a causal effect between religious denomination and earnings.

Still, we believe that an examination of the correlation, as an early attempt to understand the role of religion in economic development in a developing country, will prove useful to policymakers and future research alike. Ghana has a historic religious tradition. The same poll places the global rates of identifying as a religious person at 69 percent and African average rates at 89 percent. The mainline Christian churches have, since the 19th century, been more influential in Ghana's politics than Islam or Traditional religions, with elites being educated primarily at mainline Christian schools Gifford a.

The growth of charismatic churches represents a shift within Christianity in Ghana; most newcomers were already Christians. Ghana also has classical Pentecostal churches such as the Assemblies of God and the Church of Pentecost , which do not necessarily share the defining features of the new charismatic churches. However, concerns about the loss of membership have led such churches to incorporate aspects of Traditional or Spiritualist beliefs into their messages.

While the charismatic churches are united in their ability to incorporate the popular religion of Ghana, they are not united in terms of political support or ideologies, as was demonstrated with their varied support in the presidential election Gifford a. The charismatic churches tend to teach that societal transformation will come from individual change, not from outward reforms Gifford a ; Ter Haar and Ellis ; in fact, Gifford a argues that their teachings actually prevent fruitful discussion of national issues.

A prominent feature among charismatic teaching is the prosperity gospel. The data were collected during a period of 12 months, from September to September The GLSS 5 is a nationally representative survey sample of 8, households, containing 37, individuals: men, women, and children of all ages and all marital statuses. Detailed information was collected on income, our dependent variable, and demographic characteristics of respondents, including education, employment, and household characteristics.

The survey also collected data regarding the religious affiliation of the respondents. Given possible overlap between groups, we need to be careful in our interpretations. Our rationale behind the classifications can be found in the Additional Supporting Information at the publisher's website. The sample used for the analysis was restricted by appropriate exclusions. We selected 15 as the minimum age, as this is considered the minimum working age in Ghana U.

Department of Labor We placed an upper limit of 64 years of age because the survey revealed that most respondents were still working up to that age. Social Security Administration We excluded observations with missing education or hours of work and those with unreasonably high values for hours of work, 11 11 These individuals reported working more than 80 hours per week.

The final sample contains 12, individuals—6, women and 5, men.


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The final results are based on samples of those working and reporting earnings, which were 2, women and 3, men. The distribution is similar for men and women in most religious denominations, and Christians make up the largest group as a whole, with Pentecostals and Catholics representing the largest Christian denominations.

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The Prosperity Gospel: Its Concise Theology, Challenges and Opportunities

Nineteen percent of respondents are Muslim and 10 percent practice Traditional religions. Table 2 presents definitions and means of other control variables used in the regression models. For example, vocational, nursing, and teacher training typically require 14 years of schooling, while completing university or other tertiary education require 16 years of schooling.


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  7. Men completed more years of education than women, with an average of 6. Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians have the highest educational attainment at about 7 years of schooling for women and at Respondents who belong to the Traditional religion have the lowest educational attainment—. Muslim individuals also have relatively low educational levels—about 2. Overall, 62 percent of women and 61 percent of men live in a rural area, with Traditionalists the most likely and Spiritualists and Catholics the least likely. We use an expanded version of the Human Capital Earnings Function HCEF developed by Mincer with a dependent variable of the log of earned income and independent variables of years of education, years of labor market experience and its square, and other socioeconomic and demographic variables that help explain differences in earned income.

    We use a Chow test to test whether men and women can be pooled and it is rejected at the 1 percent level. For these reasons, we consider men and women separately. Only individuals who are employed, a subsample of the population, report earned income; estimating regressions on only these individuals would produce biased results. The current literature usually estimates the probability of employment using Heckman's procedure, then includes it in the main equation estimating earnings, as a means of correcting for sample bias selection.

    However, as Cornwell and Inder argue, labor market engagement actually encompasses two phases. In the first, the worker decides whether to participate in the labor force; in the second, an employer decides to employ each worker. Therefore, controlling for sample selection bias requires a model that adjusts for bias at both stages. At the first stage, we use the full sample to estimate the probability that an individual is in the labor force.

    We estimate a probit model with a dependent variable equal to 1 if the individual is in the labor force, defined as those employed or unemployed and looking for work; 0 indicates otherwise. Independent variables include the number of children, whether there is a child under 5 years or an adult over the age of 60 in the household, other household income, and all variables included in the main equation.