Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.628417
Title: Importing 'faith' : the effect of American 'word of faith' culture on contemporary English evangelical revivalism
Author: Ackerley, Glyn
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
This thesis is an investigation of three exemplary ‘faith ministries’ that are, or have been recently, active in the South-East of England. These ministries have embraced principle from the American Health Wealth and Prosperity Movement (HWPM). The author seeks to demonstrate that key concepts and approaches in the self- presentation or rhetoric of these church leaders have their foundations in popular American culture that has developed since the early 19th century, and that distinctive characteristics of these ministries are particular examples of the globalisation of American culture and, particularly, its distinctive pragmatism. The three ministries considered are Michael Reid, Colin Urquhart and Jerry Savelle (an American with an international ministry and offices in the UK). An interpretative methodology employing two cultural frameworks to deconstruct the movement’s rhetoric is applied to the writings, webcasts and other teaching materials marketed by these ministries. The first of these frameworks is a historical, interpretative theory acknowledging the distinctive influence of Pragmatism, Scottish Common Sense Realism, the Protestant Work Ethic and neo-Gnosticism that are an explanation of the roots and the continuing development of this way of thinking in American culture (and the globalisation of its religion). The second framework is a more religious interpretation that explains the nature of the movement’s ethos, worldview and interpretive assumptions. It acknowledges the influence of Positive Thinking, Subjective Idealism, Transcendentalism and New Thought. An analysis of the performative rhetoric and teachings of the three persons considered (and their mentors) examines the use of mechanistic language and concepts such as principles, steps and keys to describe how their teachings can work for people’s benefit. The thesis asks: What social and theological construction of reality, and what factors or reasons, make these ministries appealing to people, and what is the true nature of what these ministries offer? After a literature review and initial methodology, the rhetorical analysis proceeds by considering the nature of the ministries using insights from narrative theory, psychology, congregational studies, Maussian analysis, organisational theory, and theories of enchantment, charisma, class and cognitive dissonance. This thesis observes that while pragmatic religious solutions attract adherents disenchanted by advanced secularization in modern Britain, this often results in bewilderment when the promises of the rhetors fail. The thesis is original in its finding that many of the miracles claimed by such charismatic ministries are the result of suggestion similar to the miracles of the mind cure movement of the nineteenth century and any seemingly miraculous financial provision to leaders is the result of members of their discourse community giving in the hope that they may receive in return, these miracles are therefore often socially constructed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.The.Min.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.628417  DOI: Not available
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