Title

Sowing with Eager Expectation: A Content Analysis of The Prosperity Gospel

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Cenate Pruitt

Campus

Gainesville

Subject Area

Sociology/HSDA

Location

Nesbitt 4101

Start Date

23-3-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

23-3-2018 11:00 AM

Description/Abstract

Sowing with Eager Expectation: A Content Analysis of The Prosperity Gospel

The Prosperity Gospel is a doctrine based on the premise that God wants his servants to be financially prosperous ((van Biema and Chu 2006). Believers accept the idea that wealth is a sign of God’s approval and that prosperity serves as compensation for the sowing of extraordinary praise and acts of worship. This is especially the case when believers give beyond the minimum tithes to the church or other religious organizations. The logical conclusion that follows is that poor people remain poor because they do not give. This research explores the rhetorical strategies and capitalism based terminology used by religious personalities to persuade the poor to give what little they have. A content analysis of several televised religious broadcasts was conducted to determine the extent to which rhetorical strategy, capitalist principles, and specific scriptures were used by the religious personalities. The findings suggest that preachers of the prosperity theology engage in techniques similar to those of secular motivational speakers, where the emphasis is more on persuasive calls to action, self-improvement, and capitalism, rather than focusing on scripture. The end goal is to encourage those with few financial resources to sow in eager expectation of a financial blessing.

Keywords: harvest, poor, Prosperity Gospel, prosperity theology, reaping, religious personalities, religious broadcasts, sowing

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Mar 23rd, 10:00 AM Mar 23rd, 11:00 AM

Sowing with Eager Expectation: A Content Analysis of The Prosperity Gospel

Nesbitt 4101

Sowing with Eager Expectation: A Content Analysis of The Prosperity Gospel

The Prosperity Gospel is a doctrine based on the premise that God wants his servants to be financially prosperous ((van Biema and Chu 2006). Believers accept the idea that wealth is a sign of God’s approval and that prosperity serves as compensation for the sowing of extraordinary praise and acts of worship. This is especially the case when believers give beyond the minimum tithes to the church or other religious organizations. The logical conclusion that follows is that poor people remain poor because they do not give. This research explores the rhetorical strategies and capitalism based terminology used by religious personalities to persuade the poor to give what little they have. A content analysis of several televised religious broadcasts was conducted to determine the extent to which rhetorical strategy, capitalist principles, and specific scriptures were used by the religious personalities. The findings suggest that preachers of the prosperity theology engage in techniques similar to those of secular motivational speakers, where the emphasis is more on persuasive calls to action, self-improvement, and capitalism, rather than focusing on scripture. The end goal is to encourage those with few financial resources to sow in eager expectation of a financial blessing.

Keywords: harvest, poor, Prosperity Gospel, prosperity theology, reaping, religious personalities, religious broadcasts, sowing