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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Delivered from the Powers of Darkness': Confessions of Satanic Riches in Christian Ghana
Author:Meyer, BirgitISNI
Year:1995
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Volume:65
Issue:2
Pages:236-255
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:Baptist Church
Ewe
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161192
Abstract:Pentecostal Churches have recently become extremely popular in Ghana. Within these Churches reference is made frequently to the devil, who is associated with the non-Christian gods and ghosts as well as Western luxury goods. Present Ghanaian popular culture reveals a striking obsession with images of the devil and of evil. This article, which is based on fifteen months of research among the Ewe of Accra and Peki in the last four years, analyses some popular stories told in 'born again' circles about money received through a contract with the devil or one of his agents. It tries to establish the kind of evil that is denounced by means of the devil, and how, with the help of the notion of the devil, 'born again' Christians think about poverty and wealth. The author argues that collective fantasies around the devil have to be understood against the background of difficult socioeconomic conditions. The stories entail both a critique of the capitalist economy in the name of the precapitalist ideal of mutual family assistance and an opportunity to fantasize about things people cannot afford but nevertheless desire. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.
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