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Material Visions of the Good Life

Pentecostalism, Visual Culture, and the Prosperity Gospel

In: Pneuma
Author:
Steven Félix-Jäger Life Pacific University USA San Dimas

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Abstract

Methods within visual culture studies can reveal the aesthetic stimuli that shape the way a religious group pictures or visualizes existence. Studying the visual culture of a religious movement allows one to see what formational mechanisms already exist and how the stimuli implicitly or explicitly support the movement’s theological commitments. This article suggests an approach for understanding Pentecostalism anew in its own distinct theological and sociological terms by categorizing the contours of the religious visual cultures of global Pentecostalism. This article argues that theologies of abundance are largely at play in the visual cultures of global Pentecostalism, and this can be demonstrated by identifying the visual stimuli that form religious experience and shape the way Pentecostals around the world imagine, understand, and project reality.

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