Why Health <i>and</i> Wealth? Dimensions of Prosperity among Swedish Charismatics

Simon Coleman

in Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780195393408
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894390 | DOI:
Why Health and Wealth? Dimensions of Prosperity among Swedish Charismatics

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Focusing on the Word of Life, founded by Ulf Ekman in Uppsala, Sweden, this chapter explores tensions and affinities between health-and-wealth aspects of the Prosperity Gospel. Both health and wealth activate forms of materiality that challenge ascetic ideals and ritually constitute Charismatic personhood through transactions and mediations. Charismatic subjects are formed not only as individuals, but also—as “dividuals”—out of engagement with others through material exchanges, on local and global levels. Physical and financial entrepreneurship act as ritual complements, permitting reflection and action in relation both to the intimate self and to a wider, unbounded world. Materiality is in motion or contributes to motion; it does not accumulate for the sake of accumulation; it is both index and means of spiritual progress. People themselves form the most valued mediators of spiritual power, through touch and other semiotic forms, such as spoken words, books, or television images.

Keywords: Sweden; Word of Life; Ulf Ekman; health-and-wealth; Prosperity Gospel; Charismatic; personhood; materiality; individuals; ascetic

Chapter.  6331 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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