Ghana's New Christianity

Ghana's New Christianity

Pentecostalism in a Globalising African Economy
New Edition
Paul Gifford
Distribution: North America and Japan
Publication date: 6/22/2004
Format: paper 216 pages, 1 bibliog., 1 index
5.5 x 8.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21723-3
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“Gifford knows his subject totally, has vast and wide-ranging sympathy for his subjects (though without being uncritical), and explores these themes with admirable intelligence. This book is simply the best thing out there.” —Philip Jenkins

“Gifford’s is an uncompromising, hard-nosed study . . . [N]o one can again look at the subject without at least a respectful nod in his direction.” —Lamin Sanneh

In Ghana’s New Christianity, Paul Gifford considers the explosion of Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa by focusing on one place: Greater Accra, Ghana. Gifford examines every dimension of these new churches and mega-churches, including their discourse, theological vision, worship, rituals, music, media involvement, use of the Bible, finances, and clientele. Ghana’s New Christianity sets religious devotion into Ghana’s political and economic situation and focuses on how fervent belief in success and wealth in the here and now can provide motivation to change in circumstances where it is so easy to despair. No other book brings forth the complex nature of Africa’s new Christianity with such clarity or offers such a searching analysis of its power to tackle Africa’s predicament.

Author Bio

Paul Gifford teaches in the Department for the Study of Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is author of African Christianity: Its Public Role (IUP, 1998).


"The book has a calm style and is very well written. Throughout the text, the rich empirical material is alternated with the author’s personal reflections on the value of this movement and its leaders, and with theoretical points. The monograph is a must for anyone interested in contemporary Africa, and also for those who study current variants of Christianity. . . . the book might well open a whole discussion about the public role of Christianity. The abundant empirical material also makes the study a book not to be missed . . ." —Katrien Pype, H-Pentecostalism , September 2008

". . . a vibrant work that brings the reader into the plastic chair pews of these new churches, within earshot of the illustrious pastors who are so famous throughout Ghana. Gifford knows his subject intimately and has produced an insightful work about the biblical hermeneutics that are shaping the future of Christian beliefs." —Jonathan Roberts, Mount St. Vincent University,
H-Africa , September 2009

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Map of Ghana
1. The Context, the Debate
2. Paradigm Shift
3. Recurring Emphases
4. Deliverance and the Prophetic
5. Mensa Otabil and Cultural Adjustment
6. Economic Role
7. Political Role
8. Conclusion