A History of The American Prosperity Gospel

“[A] riveting historical account.”
—Publishers Weekly

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Millions of Americans believe God wants them to be healthy and wealthy.

I spent a decade traveling the United States and Canada visiting megachurches, archives, television studios, and revivals interviewing leaders and followers to understand the history of the “prosperity gospel.”

This book is the first comprehensive American history of one of the most popular Christian movements in the world today. Introducing readers to its most famous faces—celebrities like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, and Paula White—this book gives an intellectual framework for understanding the theology and everyday lives of people who tune in to hear its familiar message: God desires to bless you.


“This is a stunningly empathetic book… pushing far beyond caricature.”

The Christian Century

“This book propels Kate Bowler into the first rank of younger historians of religion in America.”

Randall Balmer, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America

“Blessed is an extraordinarily satisfying book. It is elegantly written, full of wit and humor.”

Fides et Historia

Kate Bowler, Ph.D. is a 4x New York Times bestselling author, award-winning podcast host, and professor at Duke University.

She studies the cultural stories we tell ourselves about success, suffering, and whether (or not) we’re capable of change. She wrote the first and only history of the American prosperity gospel—the belief that God wants to give you health, wealth, and happiness—before being unexpectedly diagnosed with stage IV cancer at age 35. While she was in treatment and not expected to survive, she wrote two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved) and No Cure For Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear). After years of being told she was incurable, she was declared cancer-free. But she was forever changed by what she discovered: life is so beautiful and life is so hard. For everyone.

Kate is determined to create a gentler world for everyone who wants to admit that they are not “living their best life.” She hosts the Everything Happens podcast where, in warm, insightful, often funny conversations, she talks with people like Malcolm Gladwell, Tig Notaro, and Archbishop Justin Welby about what they’ve learned in difficult times. Author of seven books including Good Enough, The Lives We Actually Have, and her latest, Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day!, she lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her family and continues to teach do-gooders at Duke Divinity School.