The Christian Prosperity Gospel (CPG) is a type of Christian preaching which asserts that the right type of faith and practice will deliver wealth and well-being to believers. In an era of stagnating religious belief and distorted cultural symbols, the CPG is gaining adherents in congregations numbering of tens of thousands and media audiences in the millions. In this dissertation I argue that the rhetoric of the CPG operates by altering conventional religious and secular methods of reading texts and the signs of the world in order to give the audience a greater sense of agency in a period of social, economic, and spiritual uncertainty. Individual chapters take up questions of textual hermeneutics, the hermeneutics of lived experience, the use of Christian tropes in new social conditions, the political implications of the CPG, and its method of appealing to the audience. I conclude that the rise of the CPG is not only an attempt to resolve the problems of a fragmented symbolic environment, but is also both a product of, and reliant upon, the erosion of unified frames of religious and secular interpretation.
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