concept of god in african traditional religion

God is an invisible, personality, and living spirit, distinguished from all other spirits by several, and unchanging intellectually, God is omniscient, faithful and wise, ethically God is just, merciful and loving, emotionally, God is free, authentic, and omnipotent. O’Donovan (1995: 41) goes as far as suggesting that “there is probably no native-born African who is not aware of the existence of God”. God is experienced as an all-pervading reality. Idowu calls the Yoruba religion “diffused” monotheism. It provides to scholars and practitioners an international forum for discussion on Mission Studies, particularly focusing on the Majority World. To access this article, please, Vol. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. ... a confused culture and a hope that God and their ancestors were still with them in their pain and happiness. The difficulties of stating the meaning of God in African Traditional Religion are considered, but do not prevent the attempt. 98 – 118. AJOL and the millions of African and international researchers who rely on our free services are deeply grateful for your contribution. Select the purchase Access supplemental materials and multimedia. ABSTRACT The concept of God in the traditional religion of Akan and Ewe ethnic groups compare to the Bible By Godwin Kwame Ofosuhene I am going to focus this writing, on how the Akan and Ewe ethnic groups of Ghana, understood God in their traditional The beliefs are expressed in different ways from culture to culture but the same presence of God permeates the lives of Africans. Experiences can be occasioned by something external and universally available, such as the starry sky, or by something external and private, such as a burning bush. Part of this article is a reprint of material published in Dialogue & Alliance, Spring / Summer 1993m Vol. • It is found in rituals, ceremonies and festivals of … Religion, in this view, constitutes an element within culture, as religion is seen as a way of life. 2 many basic similarities in the religious systems—everywhere there is the concept of God (called "African Religions and Philosophy" is a systematic study of the attitudes of mind and belief that have evolved in the many societies of Africa. The most significant similarity between the African God and the Biblical God is the fundamental belief in a deity. In the African traditional religions, ancestors were never considered demonic or as part of evil spirits (2007;383). The prayers are usually short, extemporaneous, and succinct, and may be accompanied by sacrifices and offerings. By way of contrast, the intent and theological assumptions of the conservative evangelical missionaries are examined to uncover the causes of the weakness of Christian mission in Karamoja. Sources of western concepts of the divine have been threefold: experience, revelation, and reason. Keywords: God, Divinities, Ancestors, African, Traditional, Religion. African peoples do not consider God to be a man, but in order to express certain concepts, they employ languages and images about God as an aid to their conceptualization of him whom they have not seen and about whom they confess to know little or nothing. 7 No. African Religion is ancestor worship. The concept of God, divinities and spirits in African traditional religious ontology has been a controversial and misunderstood concept. Request Permissions. Animism builds the core concept of traditional African religions, this includes the worship of tutelary deities, nature worship, ancestor worship and the belief in an afterlife. Traditional authority from an African point of view is very central and important because, despite the fact that it is a uniting force, the community leader is seen as a steward with divine authority over land. Original papers in the following fields are welcome: Mission and Theology; Bible and Ethics; Religions and Culture; Faith Based Development. God. In addition to the belief in deity, the Supreme Being of Africa largely overlaps conceptually with the identity and work of the biblical God. When we examine the names, we gain a greater insight into the peoples’ concept of God, as they are descriptive of His character and attributes. There are others who feel that the other parts of the world received the idea of monotheism from the African traditional Religion,’’ Mbiti … Relationally God is transcendent in being, immanent The concept of the universal creator God in Karamojong traditional religion is analysed with respect to the culture and other African beliefs, and the prevalence of this faith is assessed. 1, pages 17-32: "Peace and Reconciliation in African Religion and Christianity." Please use the link above to donate via Paypal. 16, No. SAGE Publications is an academic and professional publisher. The symbol can be found throughout Ghana. This Ghanaian Adinkra symbol means \"except for God\" and symbolizes the supremacy of God. Ziontv Gh Chanel provides you with everything about ancient ancestral cultural practices and spirituality in Africa. option. 'The Afri-can attitude to God is perhaps understood least' (Sawyer, 1970, p. ix). Christian mission still needs to stimulate a trinitarian understanding of God making as full use as possible of the traditional concept, so that the culture may be redeemed rather than opposed. Experiences can be internal and effable, such as a vision, or internal and ineffable, as is claimed by some mystics. The African concept of God is that God is simply the neuter Supreme Force behind all creations in the universe including the universe itself. Revelation can be link… This left the African people with the idea that God could not handle the hostile spirits that attacked people on a daily basis. For example, among the Yoruba, He is called Olodumare. Praying is the commonest form of worship among traditional African peoples. AJOL is a Non Profit Organisation that cannot function without donations. There were many factors which led University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and has specialised in the field of the African Traditional Religion. African Traditional Concept of God: A Critical Analysis Gikuyu, the Zulu and the Bambuti groups. Atheistic tendencies in Africa are minimal. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions In a biological sense, The Herero say that ‘God has no father and is not a man and does not even eat at all’.15 The Gikuyu believe that God has, ‘‘No father nor mother, nor wife nor children; He is all alone He is neither a child nor an old man; AJOL is a non-profit, relying on your support. religion is the very soul of African religion. All Rights Reserved. Most practitioners of African Traditional Religion have an understanding of a creator God, but this normally refined and broaden when one becomes a Christian. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. In this second edition, Dr Mbiti has updated his material to include the involvement of women in religion, and the potential unity to be found in what was once thought to be a mass of quite separate religions. Other factors include lack of indebt study of African religion leading to hasty conclusion. They relate the Supreme Being as the source Whatever God means to the people of Africa is salvation. Introduction For many decades, the concept of Supreme Being (God), divinities and ancestors (the living-dead) in African traditional religious thought has been a controversial and misunderstood concept. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. Check out using a credit card or bank account with. 4, African: Religion and Innovation (October/December 1999), Access everything in the JPASS collection, Download up to 10 article PDFs to save and keep, Download up to 120 article PDFs to save and keep. It is the most popular for decoration and can often be seen printed on cloth or stamped on pottery.The rapid spread of Pentecostal Christianity and fundamentalist Islam has greatly affected the role of indigenous religion in African society. Transformation is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly on behalf of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. of God in any African Traditional Religion is asking for trouble, because the meaning of the English terms come with such a long his-tory, from the Latin, of theological baggage, that it is not at all natural to give space to the African meanings in their context. The journal offers considered analysis and reflection on a range of issues affecting the world today, including economics, development, violence, family life and other ethical issues. JSTOR®, the JSTOR logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA. In African Traditional Religion creator God is distant from man. that it cannot make its own new ideas.”1 It is true that African knowledge of God came from African minds and that it is not from other cultures and religions. By this label serious damage was done to the gospel in Africa. Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal. African Traditional religion refers to salvation as a good and acceptable way of life here and now. Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. Transformation Most Africans are in agreement that the traditional Africans do not actively worship this Supreme Being. This is just one part of it It is superstitious It is animism or paganism It is magic or fetishism African Religion embraces all these four ideas in its belief. African Traditional Religion: A Definition (1973), Omosade Awolalu in Yoruba Belief and Sacrificial Rites and John Mbiti in The Concept of God in Africa (1970) are a few examples of postcolonial scholars of religion who have resisted and denounced colonial idea that Africans do not know God. This study attempts and examines what some scholars have written about African traditional religion, its beliefs and practices, and brought it together to form what may be called the worship of God in the religion. The S… It is an accepted position that the African Initiated Churches (AICs) were formed as a result of the search for a unique African identity and culture. Invocations are calls for God's intervention into a particular matter. The works of African scholars for the past three decades have established the fact that Africans have a concept of an universal God and the Creator (Idowu, 1962; Mbiti, 1975). It can be said the worship of God in Africa traditional religion is the very soul of African religion. This item is part of JSTOR collection We publish books, journals and software under the SAGE, Corwin Your donation is guaranteed to directly contribute to Africans sharing their research output with a global readership. Traditional African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. ©2000-2020 ITHAKA. Various factors led to this controversy and misunderstanding, such as prejudice by Western scholars who measured African traditional religious concept with Christianity. The diversity of cultural forms and linguistic differences of Africans, notwithstanding the relationships of African supreme beings to the created order (including the human, spiritual, and other entities), reveal to a great extent a certain uniformity and similarity in the nature, attributes, and powers of the supreme beings. They are mostly requests to satisfy a particular need or to give thanks. The ancestral spirits will intercede who will carry it forward to God, because we also believe in God." Rubinga, Paluku (1986), ‘The Concept of God as Father in the Bible & in African Religion’ in Benson & Gitari (1986), pp. Reported experiences of God are remarkably varied and have produced equally varied concepts of the divine being. © 1999 Sage Publications, Ltd. Google Scholar Samuel, Vinay & Chris Sugden (eds.) Where to look for and find African Tradition Religion? Traditional African religion has common themes such as a Creator or High God, positive ancestor influences as well as tricksters, and an afterlife with spirit worlds. ----- Please Subscribe! African identity and culture are preserved in African Traditional Religion. that threaten individual or community survival, good health and general The beliefs and the concepts of beliefs are found in the idea of God, the creators of all things; the concept that has enriched Christianity. African traditional religions have a strong foothold in contemporary Zimbabwe as an integral part of the everyday lives of many Zimbabweans. This is the popular assumption amongst many African theologians of which Maluleke (1994) is one example. In practice, the traditional view of God is closer to a trinitarian understanding than the inherently dualistic approach of the Christian missionaries. Press, Paul Chapman Publishing, Pine Forge Press, SAGE Reference, SAGE Science and Scolari (US and Europe websites) imprints. This study attempts and examines what some scholars have written about African traditional religion, its beliefs and practices, and brought it together to form what may be called the worship of God in the religion. AJOL is annually audited and was also independently assessed in 2019 by E&Y. Prejudice by Western scholars who measured African traditional religion of Ibadan, Nigeria, and be... Also independently assessed concept of god in african traditional religion 2019 by E & Y in 2019 by E &.. On page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers ) is one example sacrifices and.. The universe including the universe itself very soul of African and international researchers rely! Culture but the same presence of God in Africa 1970, p. ix ) the lives of Zimbabweans. A hope that God and their ancestors were still with them in their and... 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