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

Paperback | February 16, 2005

byMilmon F. Harrison

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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. InRighteous 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." The Word of Faith movement is an international network loosely bound by a basic doctrine called the "Faith Message," which teaches that it is God's will for Christians to be prosperous, successful, and healthy in the present life. Drawing on his personal experiences as a former insider and in-depthinterviews 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. Although the movement is not exclusively African American, many of its most prominent and recognizedleaders are African American ministers with large congregations and national television audiences. 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 addressthe material--as well as spiritual--concerns of their members. The Word of Faith Movement, he says, is one of several prosperity movements that resonate strongly with African Americans. Situating the movement in the contexts of both contemporary American religion and the history of the BlackChurch, Righteous Riches offers a fascinating look at a quintessentially American phenomenon.

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From the Publisher

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. InRighteous Riches, Milmon F. Harrison examines t...

Milmon F. Harrison is at University of California, Davis.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.59 inPublished:February 16, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019515388X

ISBN - 13:9780195153880

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"engaging.... [a] personal touch, in keeping with Harrison's desire to write a "straightforward, clear" book, is refreshing and will appeal to a wide audience. ....[an] informative, readable introduction to a little-known but very influential religious movement."--Publishers Weekly