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Where Is the Money? The Intersectionality of the Spirit World and the Acquisition of Wealth

School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Greenwich, Park Row, London SE10 9LS, UK
Religions 2019, 10(3), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10030146
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magic and Supernaturalism Today)
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Abstract

This article is a theoretical treatment of the ways in which local worldviews on wealth acquisition give rise to contemporary manifestations of spirituality in cyberspace. It unpacks spiritual (occult) economies and wealth generation through a historical perspective. The article ‘devil advocates’ the ‘sainthood’ of claimed law-abiding citizens, by highlighting that the line dividing them and the Nigerian cybercriminals (Yahoo-Boys) is blurred with regards to the use of magical means for material ends. By doing so, the article also illustrates that the intersectionality of the spirit world and the acquisition of wealth (crime or otherwise) is connected with local epistemologies and worldviews, and its contemporaneity has social security benefits. Therefore, the view that the contemporary manifestations of spirituality in cyberspace signify a ‘new-danger’ and an ever-increasing outrage in Nigerian society is misplaced. I conclude that if people believe all aspects of life are reflective of the spiritual world and determined by it, the spiritual realm, by implication, is the base of society, upon which sits the superstructure comprised of all aspects of life, especially wealth. Inferentially, this conceptual position that the spirit world is the base of society is an inversion of Orthodox Marxist’s theory of economic determinism. View Full-Text
Keywords: sociology of religion; spiritual and magical powers; economic anthropology; gospel of prosperity; Mami Wata or Olokun; digital spiritualization; spiritual manipulation of victims; Nigerian cybercriminals and scams; occult economy; Yahoo Boys and money rituals sociology of religion; spiritual and magical powers; economic anthropology; gospel of prosperity; Mami Wata or Olokun; digital spiritualization; spiritual manipulation of victims; Nigerian cybercriminals and scams; occult economy; Yahoo Boys and money rituals
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lazarus, S. Where Is the Money? The Intersectionality of the Spirit World and the Acquisition of Wealth. Religions 2019, 10, 146.

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