• Blessed

  • A History of the American Prosperity Gospel
  • By: Kate Bowler
  • Narrated by: Kate Bowler
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (145 ratings)
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

How have millions of American Christians come to measure spiritual progress in terms of their financial status and physical well-being? How has the movement variously called Word of Faith, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, or simply prosperity gospel come to dominate much of our contemporary religious landscape? Kate Bowler's Blessed is the first book to fully explore the origins, unifying themes, and major figures of a burgeoning movement that now claims millions of followers in America. Bowler traces the roots of the prosperity gospel: from the touring mesmerists, metaphysical sages, pentecostal healers, business oracles, and princely prophets of the early 20th century; through mid-century positive thinkers like Norman Vincent Peale and revivalists like Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin; to today's hugely successful prosperity preachers. Bowler focuses on such contemporary figures as Creflo Dollar, pastor of Atlanta's 30,000-member World Changers Church International; Joel Osteen, known as "the smiling preacher", with a weekly audience of seven million; T. D. Jakes, named by Time magazine one of America's most influential new religious leaders; Joyce Meyer, evangelist and women's empowerment guru; and many others. At almost any moment, day or night, the American public can tune in to these preachers - on TV, radio, podcasts, and in their megachurches - to hear the message that God desires to bless them with wealth and health. Bowler offers an interpretive framework for scholars and general listeners alike to understand the diverse expressions of Christian abundance as a cohesive movement bound by shared understandings and common goals.

©2013 Oxford University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Blessed

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    99
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    77
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great research, fascinating information

Kate Bowler untangles the roots of the prosperity gospel in an entertaining and informative way. She handles the topic without bias. Well done indeed. If you want to learn more about the movement , its roots and current place in American Christianity today, this book is a must read.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engrossing History of the Prosperity Gospel

BLESSED traces the Prosperity Gospel from its earliest roots. Kate Bowler not only wrote a very thorough account but she was also easy to follow and listen to in the Audible version. One thing that amazed me is how the prosperity message has seeped into so many facets of today's church. Tracing links to New Thought philosophy and showing how these ideas were adapted over time, the book peels back the facelift that prosperity teachers keep inventing.

Bowler's tone is not cynical or looking down on her subject, but gently questioning, wanting to see the best and going to where the facts lead. This made her account compelling and engrossing in the way her research unfolded.

There are a few minor glitches, like her surprise about one church calling its drug and alcohol ministry "Celebrate Recovery" while one click of on-line research would reveal that Celebrate Recovery is a national ministry with several hundred chapters that was launched by Saddleback Church more than a decade ago.

This history of the Prosperity movement a must read for pastors, church history lovers, and those who wish to understand the pros and cons of the Prosperity Gospel.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible

Nobody has a better grasp and understand of new Christianity in America than Kate. Read now

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A necessary history that helped me better understand a large part of the global church and influence of this popular theology.

Every time I'd tell people that I was reading a history of the American prosperity gospel they'd begin to ask questions and share stories. And they always asked something like "well, what does she say? Does she say it's bad?" To which I would have to respond "Well, SHE doesn't really say it's bad. She just lays out the history and the facts on the message, the different expressions of it and a bit of the stories the main characters and then let's you decide!" That's one of the things I appreciated about it - It wasn't judgemental or bitter, yet it did describe some of the more troubling events and expressions of the last 50 years.
I really enjoyed this book and felt like I was taking an extremely interesting history class that ended with me thinking about my own faith and religious history in a fresh way. Thank you Kate Bowler!
If you are curious as to what to expect - I got the audiobook after reading Kate Bowler's New York Times article called Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me - take a look at it and then get the book if you want more!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book, very candid

Right to the point, and I a few laughs based on the authors comments which were refreshingly honest.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

this was a fascinating account of how the prosperity gospel grew out of the Midwest and found a home with Pentecostalism. Bowler covers educational institutions, megachurches, evangelists, and everything in between to share how its ideology grew with the times and how it was bent for the audience at hand.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting read

I enjoyed this excepting the liberal political views unnecessarily added by the author. Systemic racism is a farce that denies the real cultural issues and personal responsibility. The work is still worth reading.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great historical writing

loved the history and it's revealing nature to this large movement that focuses on stuff and not a relationship with God

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good informational

Blessed is a good resource for the history of the prosperity Gospel. Unless one is familiar with the prosperity movement, it may be hard to follow. Having been in this all most of my life, the names and ideas are very familiar. The ridiculousness of the movement doesn't need much explanation after hearing some of the things said and done within it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Just wow

Just wow! I was born and bred on prosperity gospel. So insidious and far reaching. I am so thankful for the mercy of God and the forgiveness of all our foolishness.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Taelor Clark
  • Taelor Clark
  • 06-09-19

Beyond Interesting

I purchased this book and audio book after listening to Kate’s Ted Talk and I could not have made a better choice.

This has been one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read/listened too. An incredible look at what prosperity gospel is and the impacts it’s had on culture in general.

If you’re considering this book - do it.