Religion in Ghana: The Non-Spirit of Capitalism

Many people in the African nation of Ghana take their religion seriously; so seriously in fact that they aren’t doing much work.  As Joy Online reports:

The day’s worship is often extended to evening hours, ending up in the wee hours of the next day in what they describe as all-night sessions. For days, weeks, months and years, this has become the standard practice of religious fanatics who have turned the productive hours and times of rest into a frenzy of noise-making, all in the name of worshipping God.

Whether it is God who has been cruel to us or our prayers have not reached the target audience, we all troop out of these prayer sessions more devastated and helpless, looking up to others for survival.

This was the message captured by Professor Max Assimeng of the Sociology Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, in his book: Religion and Social Change in West Africa.

In the 291-page book launched in Accra last week, Prof Assimeng observes that Ghana’s economic challenges have gained root because of the use of a greater part of our productive hours observing religious practices.

“In any country where there is too much religion, economic activity goes down,” he observes in the book, explaining that “all countries that are progressing are both religious and hardworking at the same time”.

Based on Professor Assimeng’s observations, two things are immediately apparent.  First, all those prayers don’t seem to be bringing the faithful much prosperity or health.  Second, the Christianity practiced in Ghana clearly is not of the Calvinist-Puritan variety.  Max Weber would have been fascinated by this combination.

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5 thoughts on “Religion in Ghana: The Non-Spirit of Capitalism

  1. augustine manu

    prof assimeng is a true lecturer who is very critical in his analysis regarding religion and social change. i remember when i was his student in 1996, he told us that ‘the essence of religion is the period of crisis’ and that religion offers explanation to the unexplicable phenomena . i initially thought he wasn’t a believer but i was amazed when i saw him in church where i also worship. may G od continue to protect prof and grant him long life. he is a resource person and an asset to ghana. long live prof. amen. 00447957238306

  2. Anonymous

    God bless Prof indeed. He is genius, an extraordinary intellectual power. Ghana must be proud of him.

  3. Nana Akenteng

    Professor J.M Assimeng is an authority who stands out of the crowd. He knows his stuff, a world class.

  4. Kwaku Nkrumah

    Although Prof is gone to the village, having died recently, but his works will stand the test of time. Farewell Professor Assimeng.

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