Tony Lin’s writing flows out of his research, life experience and the books he reads. Please check regularly for the latest.
Prosperity Gospel Latinos and Their American Dream (UNC Press 2020)
Hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as an “evocative debut” and “well-reasoned work.” In this immersive ethnography, Tony Tian-Ren Lin explores the reasons that Latin American immigrants across the United States are increasingly drawn to Prosperity Gospel Pentecostalism, a strand of Protestantism gaining popularity around the world. Lin contends that Latinos embrace Prosperity Gospel, which teaches that believers may achieve both divine salvation and worldly success, because it helps them account for the contradictions of their lives as immigrants. Weaving together his informants’ firsthand accounts of their religious experiences and everyday lives, Lin offers poignant insight into how they see their faith transforming them both as individuals and as communities.
The theology fuses salvation with material goods so that as these immigrants pursue spiritual rewards they are also, perhaps paradoxically, striving for the American dream. After all, Lin observes, prosperity is the gospel of the American dream. In this way, while becoming better Prosperity Gospel Pentecostals they are also adopting traditional white American norms. Yet this is not a typical story of smooth assimilation as most of these immigrants must deal with the immensity of the broader cultural and political resistance to their actually becoming Americans. Rather, Prosperity Gospel Pentecostalism gives Latinos the logic and understanding of themselves as those who belong in this country yet remain perpetual outsiders.
We Can Only Dream Together – Currents. November 17, 2021
Making America Dream Again – UNC Press Blog. October 28, 2020
The Faithful Shall Not be Deterred – UNC Press Blog. September 28, 2020
Like “Green Book,” the new Charleston church shooting documentary is troubling – Washington Post. June 21, 2019.
The New Tax Law Poses a hidden threat to American Democracy – Washington Post. January 8, 2018.
When Children Pray – The Presbyterian Outlook. November 21, 2018.