Jeyoul Choi

Date of Graduation

Spring 2015


Master of Arts in Religious Studies


Religious Studies

Committee Chair

John Schmalzbauer


global pentecostalism, religion and economy, urbanization, modernity, rationality and irrationality, Max Weber, postcolonial theory, continental philosophy, religion and culture

Subject Categories



This thesis explores the relationship between the South Korean and Brazilian neo-Pentecostal churches and their social contexts in a postcolonial setting. It argues that Reverend David Yonggi Cho's prosperity gospel and Bishop Edir Macedo's theology have been shaped by both countries' rapid industrialization and urbanization. This project also attempts to show the active participation of their theologies in neoliberal society through their own interpretations of culture and spirituality. Meanwhile, it challenges the existing literature in Pentecostal Studies, which has focused on the affinity for rationality in both Protestantism and modern society. Challenging this emphasis on the influence of Western rationality, it shows that the irrational and mysterious aspects of both religion and culture are important for understanding the rapid growth of pentecostalism in nonwestern countries in contemporary neoliberal society.


© Jeyoul Choi

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