Adam Mohr, Senior Fellow, publishes book on capitalism and Christian therapy in West Africa

The University of Rochester Press has just published Enchanted Calvinism, a new book by Adam Mohr, a Senior Fellow in the Critical Writing Program.

Enchanted Calvinism explores the relationship between capitalism, Christianity and healing practices in modern Ghana and the Ghanaian Diaspora. The book's central proposition is that Ghanaian Presbyterian communities, both past and present, have become more enchanted – more attuned to spiritual explanations of and remedies for suffering – as they have become integrated into capitalist modes of production. Dr. Mohr analyzes the phenomena of spiritual affliction and spiritual healing within the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, particularly under the conditions of labor migration in the early twentieth century during the cocoa boom in Ghana and, then a century later, in their recent migration from Ghana to North America. Relying on extensive archival research, oral interviews, and participant-observation conducted in North America, Europe, and West Africa, this book challenges Max Weber's conclusions about religious enchantment to demonstrate that the more Ghanaian Calvinists became dependent on capitalist modes of production, the more "enchanted" their lives and, subsequently, their church became, although in different ways within these two migrations.

Dr Mohr teaches courses on "Global Health" in the Critical Writing Program at Penn. "Adam Mohr is without doubt one of the most fascinating new scholars of historical anthropology working in West Africa and the United States today," writes Prof. Benjamin N. Lawrance, the chair of International Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology. "His work – which resides at the dynamic intersection of medical anthropology, colonial and postcolonial diaspora studies, and the global history of religion – is truly original and Atlantic in scope."