Wealth and Worth

Pastorship and Neo-Pentecostalism in Kumasi

Karen Lauterbach


The concern of this article is how neo-Pentecostal pastors build up wealth and status in Kumasi, Ghana. The argument is that neo-Pentecostal ideas of wealth appeal to pastors as well as church membership, because it enables a certain form of entrepreneurship on the one hand and relate to more established ideas of social mobility and status in Asante on the other. I also point out that the way wealth has been perceived in scholarship on neo-Pentecostalism is narrow in the sense that is merely looks upon wealth in terms of money and commodities. I argue that wealth in the case of pastors should be seen in a broader context to include aspects such as time and presence of people and social relations. By analysing specific cases and events I propose that pastors and church members invest in social relations and networking to attain wealth.

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