TEJ4530EN - Economic Justice and the Prosperity Gospel

Course description

How are we to respond to the theology of prosperity that promises hope and solutions to millions of socio-economically desperate people? This course offers a theological critique of what is popularly known known as the ‘prosperity gospel’ (referred to it as prosperity theology (PT) in this course). It assesses the theological and ethical basis of PT in the wider dialogue of economic justice. Our task is to practice responsible action, faithful presence, and a biblical vision for the social action in the face of poverty, economic injustice, exploitation, structural injustice etc.

How this course benefits students

Students taking this course will benefit from analysing the prosperity theology from a biblical, theological, and social perspective. They are also able to develop a biblically informed theology of material possessions, wealth, and health; and how to respond to structures, theologies and systems that displace and impoverish vulnerable persons and communities.

Why this course is important

The course is important because: a. It offers a biblical and theological study of possessions, wealth, and health. b. It brings theology into dialogue with present-day social, economic, and cultural PT purports to address. c. It encourages students to develop biblically informed social response to social inequity, poverty, economic injustice; and d. It explores a biblically position of stewardship of possession and wealth for the good of society and the glory of God.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Theology of Equitable Justice
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Basilius Kasera, Professor of Economic Theology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

We derive our understanding of wealth, possessions, success and wellbeing from the framework of God’s self-revelation and not from the popular culture of materialism. As such, we seek the Bible to inform our understanding not as possessors but as enactors of God’s shalom.

Missionally driven

The course encourages students to become part of God's transformation in their various communities and the world. We believe Christian reflection on questions of material well being and seeking responsible answers is part of participating in God's mission in the world.

Contextually informed

In this course, we hold that the ultimate context of humanity is that which the Bible tells us - all have sinned. We are fully aware of humans’ shortcoming, yet we believe that God, in His grace, is at work in these various human contexts. We believe that God is concerned for the wellbeing of the poor and suffering and it is within this context that we analyse PT.

Interculturally focused

We believe that God works with people within their cultural context. This course seeks to challenge students to express their faith in their social context - sensitively and graciously but faithfully. The quest for a better understanding of money and possessions carries culturally loaded issues. We need to approach it from a biblical perspective with true neighbourliness and practising generosity for the sake of the common good.

Practically minded

Although we are engaged in an academic exercise, we do not advocate for mere head knowledge. We are participants who prioritise practice as part of our learning, engage in challenging and resisting ideas and practices that do not conform to God's standards of economic justice.

Experientially transformed

We seek to do education in experiential ways. We shape students to integrate what they experience in their context into their learning. In as much as students need strong theoretical foundations, they need experiences where they can develop the ability to grabble with real issues if they are to craft authentic, meaningful solutions facing their communities.