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. Praying is the commonest form of worship among traditional African peoples. Most Africans are in agreement that the traditional Africans do not actively worship this Supreme Being. 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. Religion, in this view, constitutes an element within culture, as religion is seen as a way of life. 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. • It is found in rituals, ceremonies and festivals of … God is experienced as an all-pervading reality. University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and has specialised in the field of the African Traditional Religion. African Traditional religion refers to salvation as a good and acceptable way of life here and now. 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. 1, pages 17-32: "Peace and Reconciliation in African Religion and Christianity." 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. This item is part of JSTOR collection For example, among the Yoruba, He is called Olodumare. Part of this article is a reprint of material published in Dialogue & Alliance, Spring / Summer 1993m Vol. In African Traditional Religion creator God is distant from man. 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). Read your article online and download the PDF from your email or your account. By this label serious damage was done to the gospel in Africa. Revelation can be link… 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. 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. Google Scholar Samuel, Vinay & Chris Sugden (eds.) Experiences can be internal and effable, such as a vision, or internal and ineffable, as is claimed by some mystics. 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. SAGE Publications is an academic and professional publisher. © 1999 Sage Publications, Ltd. 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. religion is the very soul of African religion. It can be said the worship of God in Africa traditional religion is the very soul of African religion. 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. Your donation is guaranteed to directly contribute to Africans sharing their research output with a global readership. In addition to the belief in deity, the Supreme Being of Africa largely overlaps conceptually with the identity and work of the biblical God. AJOL is a Non Profit Organisation that cannot function without donations. Sources of western concepts of the divine have been threefold: experience, revelation, and reason. 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; 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”. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions The ancestral spirits will intercede who will carry it forward to God, because we also believe in God." Where to look for and find African Tradition Religion? African identity and culture are preserved in African Traditional Religion. The concept of God, divinities and spirits in African traditional religious ontology has been a controversial and misunderstood concept. 2 many basic similarities in the religious systems—everywhere there is the concept of God (called This Ghanaian Adinkra symbol means \"except for God\" and symbolizes the supremacy of God. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. 98 – 118. Relationally God is transcendent in being, immanent Most practitioners of African Traditional Religion have an understanding of a creator God, but this normally refined and broaden when one becomes a Christian. 'The Afri-can attitude to God is perhaps understood least' (Sawyer, 1970, p. ix). Reported experiences of God are remarkably varied and have produced equally varied concepts of the divine being. It provides to scholars and practitioners an international forum for discussion on Mission Studies, particularly focusing on the Majority World. ... a confused culture and a hope that God and their ancestors were still with them in their pain and happiness. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. They are mostly requests to satisfy a particular need or to give thanks. The S… In the African traditional religions, ancestors were never considered demonic or as part of evil spirits (2007;383). AJOL is annually audited and was also independently assessed in 2019 by E&Y. Atheistic tendencies in Africa are minimal. We publish books, journals and software under the SAGE, Corwin Various factors led to this controversy and misunderstanding, such as prejudice by Western scholars who measured African traditional religious concept with Christianity. This left the African people with the idea that God could not handle the hostile spirits that attacked people on a daily basis. option. 16, No. Transformation is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly on behalf of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. To access this article, please, Vol. Idowu calls the Yoruba religion “diffused” monotheism. Press, Paul Chapman Publishing, Pine Forge Press, SAGE Reference, SAGE Science and Scolari (US and Europe websites) imprints. Ziontv Gh Chanel provides you with everything about ancient ancestral cultural practices and spirituality in Africa. There are others who feel that the other parts of the world received the idea of monotheism from the African traditional Religion,’’ Mbiti … ©2000-2020 ITHAKA. 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. 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. JSTOR®, the JSTOR logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA. The African concept of God is that God is simply the neuter Supreme Force behind all creations in the universe including the universe itself. 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. Other factors include lack of indebt study of African religion leading to hasty conclusion. There were many factors which led AJOL is a non-profit, relying on your support. 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. Check out using a credit card or bank account with. that threaten individual or community survival, good health and general Original papers in the following fields are welcome: Mission and Theology; Bible and Ethics; Religions and Culture; Faith Based Development. The prayers are usually short, extemporaneous, and succinct, and may be accompanied by sacrifices and offerings. "African Religions and Philosophy" is a systematic study of the attitudes of mind and belief that have evolved in the many societies of Africa. 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. 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. 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. Access supplemental materials and multimedia. Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal. Please use the link above to donate via Paypal. The beliefs are expressed in different ways from culture to culture but the same presence of God permeates the lives of Africans. 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 difficulties of stating the meaning of God in African Traditional Religion are considered, but do not prevent the attempt. In practice, the traditional view of God is closer to a trinitarian understanding than the inherently dualistic approach of the Christian missionaries. All Rights Reserved. Rubinga, Paluku (1986), ‘The Concept of God as Father in the Bible & in African Religion’ in Benson & Gitari (1986), pp. 7 No. 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 African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. The symbol can be found throughout Ghana. 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. The most significant similarity between the African God and the Biblical God is the fundamental belief in a deity. They relate the Supreme Being as the source Whatever God means to the people of Africa is salvation. Request Permissions. This is the popular assumption amongst many African theologians of which Maluleke (1994) is one example. Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. Transformation ----- Please Subscribe! 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. God. African Traditional Concept of God: A Critical Analysis Gikuyu, the Zulu and the Bambuti groups. African Religion is ancestor worship. Keywords: God, Divinities, Ancestors, African, Traditional, Religion. Select the purchase African traditional religions have a strong foothold in contemporary Zimbabwe as an integral part of the everyday lives of many Zimbabweans. 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. 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 and the millions of African and international researchers who rely on our free services are deeply grateful for your contribution. 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. 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