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Title: Prosperity and the worship of achievement : a theological analysis of cultural tensions within Brazilian Neopentecostalism
Author: Leite Guanaes de Miranda, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 4552
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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Neopentecostalism is currently one of the most expressive religious phenomena in Brazil. According to the Brazilian Census Institute's database (IBGE), Neopentecostals represent the fastest growing movement among Protestants in the country. Brazilian Neopentecostalism has some unique aspects that distinguish its member churches from the mainline denominations. Since its birth, the most significant difference has been its commitment to Prosperity Theology. Lately, however, a new constituency has developed within Neopentecostalism: the Brazilian Apostolic Movement. Like other Neopentecostal churches, they have the Prosperity Gospel as their theological grounding. On the other hand, however, they differ from other Neopentecostal churches by having an apostle as their leader. The aim of this work is to investigate the Brazilian Apostolic Movement in order to comprehend its culture and identity. The study will demonstrate that, believing that Christians should be healthy and wealthy, Brazilian Apostolic Movement leaders speak and preach in a way that resembles what psychoanalysis calls narcissism. Consciously or not, the movement risks contributing to the establishment of a Christian narcissistic culture – similar to the concept of cultural narcissism, developed by Christopher Lasch. That being the case, the study explores how Christian theology might respond to this reality. Is it possible for a Christian community to have narcissistic patterns as a key element of its identity? To respond to that question, I draw from the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His book, The Cost of Discipleship, focuses particularly on Christian life and ethics, and approaches these issues by through the lens of an intense reflection on what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ – both as an individual and as part of a community. Drawing from Bonhoeffer's work, I suggest three concepts as a significant theological response and challenge to the narcissistic aspects identified in the BAM churches I studied: Cheap grace, theology of the cross, and uncertainty of life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: ScholarLeaders International
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pentecostalism ; Culture conflict ; Faith movement (Hagin)