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The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism$
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Simon Coleman and Rosalind I. J. Hackett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772591

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772591.001.0001

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Mediating Money

Mediating Money

Materiality and Spiritual Warfare in Tanzanian Charismatic Christianity

(p.147) 7 Mediating Money
The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism

Martin Lindhardt

NYU Press

This chapter examines how Pentecostal and charismatic beliefs and practices regarding spiritual warfare entail a specific stance toward materiality. Most of the scholarship to date has centered on the human body as the main material form in which spiritual powers are held to reside, but this chapter seeks to explore the ways the battle against diabolic powers is fought through the handling of physical objects. Drawing on long-term fieldwork in south-central Tanzania, where P/e has experienced significant growth over the last three decades, this chapter provides a range of ethnographic sketches of how people pray over money to cleanse it from evil powers. Using the lens of the “anthropology of things,” the chapter argues that coins and bills constitute a particularly significant object of mediation and a pointer to how adherents of P/e believe they can influence the spiritual world to generate wealth and prosperity in miraculous ways.

Keywords:   materiality, spiritual warfare, Tanzania, physical objects, anthropology of things, wealth, prosperity, witchcraft of wealth, Gospel of Prosperity, mediation

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