This page was last edited on 12 December 2020, at 23:14. [18], Traditional African religions can be broken down into linguistic cultural groups, with common themes. Traditional African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. $18.00 $13.99. Register to create a new account and shop with Wipf and Stock today! This book highlights and discusses the common elements which introduce African Traditional Religion as one unified religion and not a collection of religions. $18.00. Olupona rejects the western/islamic definition of Monotheism or Polytheism and says that such concepts could not reflect the complex African traditions and are simplistic. . According to him, the belief in spirits and ancestors is the most important element of African religions. The print version … / Rosalind J. Hackett as a guest-editor has been responsible for those pages. The third level in African Traditional Religion is the earthly tier, which is the functionaries who are responsible for maintaining the harmony, balance, and order in the African traditional system. Register to create a new account and shop with Wipf and Stock today! Authors: David T. Adamo. There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions. The beliefs and practices of the traditional religions in Africa can enrich Christian theology and spirituality." In this state, depending upon the region, drumming or instrumental rhythms played by respected musicians (each of which is unique to a given deity or ancestor), participants embody a deity or ancestor, energy or state of mind by performing distinct ritual movements or dances which further enhance their elevated consciousness. Encyclopædia Britannica. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. S. Mbiti, John (1991). It is embraced by Africans within and outside the continent despite the various ethnic religious practices and beliefs. The ancestors are generally believed to reside in an ancestral realm (spiritworld), while some believe that the ancestors became equal in power to deities.[29]. The practice of casting may be done with small objects, such as bones, cowrie shells, stones, strips of leather, or flat pieces of wood. The symbol can be found throughout Ghana. The major focus of the book is discussing the need for studying ATR in twenty-first-century Africa whereby globalization and multi-culture are prominent phenomena. Among Nilo-Saharan speakers is the belief in Divinity; evil is caused by divine judgement and retribution; prophets as middlemen between Divinity and man. Sulfur, mercury, and salt are classical elements. [39], For example, in the Serer religion, one of the most sacred stars in the cosmos is called Yoonir (the Star of Sirius). Using some illustrations from Nyumbanitu worship shrine located at Njombe in Tanzania, the book purports that there is a need to understand African people's worldview, their understanding of God, their religious values, symbols and rituals in order to enhance meaningful dialogue between Christianity and African people's current worldview. African traditional religion is the belief system that has been handed down from one generation to another. "Religions of South Africa" pp. [35], Traditional African religions generally believe in an afterlife, one or more Spirit worlds, and Ancestor worship is an important basic concept in mostly all African religions. 13 numbers of adherents of African religion. Examples of folk religions include African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions. It is embraced by Africans within and outside the continent despite the various ethnic religious practices and beliefs. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. [6][1] The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural. Peavy, D., (2009). Ancestor veneration has always played a "significant" part in the traditional African cultures and may be considered as central to the African worldview. Whereas in Africa these religions are ordinarily referred to as "African Traditional Religions"; in Asia they are called 'Tribal Religions and Folk Religions', in America 'Native Religions and Afro-American Religions', and in Oceania 'Indigenous Religions'. Elements of African Traditional Religion A Textbook for Students of Comparative Religion by Elia Shabani Mligo and Publisher Resource Publications. This outlines how and why we collect, store and use your personal data when you use our website. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. Orhioghene. An African understanding, The List: The World's Fastest-Growing Religions, "US study sheds light on Africa's unique religious mix", Ian S. Markham,(A World Religions Reader. Virtue in traditional African religion is often connected with carrying out obligations of the communal aspect of life. The method ofstudyingAfrican traditional religion isfirst discussed and then the elements of the method guide an analysis of theAkan religion in West Africa according to their understand-ing of the Supreme Being, the ancestors, magic, witchcraft and various rites of passage. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. [34] Some recognize a dual god and goddess such as Mawu-Lisa. 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. David Chidester has long claimed that the “inventory” of religious elements that have come to characterize African traditional religion (belief in God, veneration of ancestors, sacrifice, initiation, divination, and healing rituals) are products of “colonial containment” and … Examples include social behaviors such as the respect for parents and elders, raising children appropriately, providing hospitality, and being honest, trustworthy, and courageous. ), are excited to the point of going into meditative trance in response to rhythmic or driving drumming or singing. Save up to 80% by choosing the eTextbook option for ISBN: 9781621898245, 1621898245. Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. Scholars no longer look for such cultural transfers regarding religion. This accounts for the varying figures that are sometimes seen in . [1][7], Adherents of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million. In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a person or a community lives. This book highlights and discusses the common elements which introduce African Traditional Religion as one unified religion an… there are also Christians and Muslims who still practice elements of traditional African religion alongside their professed beliefs. [38] Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. £9.49 The effect of colonisation on Africa's traditional religion is seen in the views of colonialists that African traditional religious practices are fetish, barbaric, ritualistic and demonic. "Traditional Religion", in his. A belief in ancestors also testifies to the inclusive nature of traditional African spirituality by positing that deceased progenitors still play a role in the lives of their living descendants. Elements of African Traditional Religion : A Textbook for Students of Comparative Religion. Traditional African religion is very popular and arrived here with our North and West African ancestors. NOOK Book. But there are exceptions to this general observation, especially in Southern Africa and some parts of West Africa. [8][9], Although the majority of Africans today are adherents of Christianity or Islam, African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. AU$49.00, Elia Shabani Mligo (PhD, University of Oslo, Norway) is an employee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania--Southern Diocese. This list is limited to a few well-known traditions. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. Purchasing options are not available in this country. He currently teaches Theology and Research at Amani University Project in Njombe, which operates under the University of Iringa in Tanzania. Some African religions adopted different views through the influence of Islam or even Hinduism.[36]. Hardcover. Monotheism does not reflect the multiplicity of ways that the traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, gods, and spirit beings. African Traditional religion (ATR) is one of the world religions with a great people and a great past. $18.00 Among Niger–Congo-speakers is a belief in a creator God, force or higher deity, which is considered by some to be a widespread and ancient feature of Niger-Congo-cultures,[19][20][21] along with other more specialized deities, ancestor spirits, territorial spirits, and beings, as well as evil caused by human ill will and neglecting ancestor spirits, and priests of territorial spirits. Gods were either self-created or evolved from spirits or ancestors which got worshiped by the people. [33] This includes also nature, elementary and animal spirits. / They have replaced indigenous African religions, but are often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. Most religions can be described as animistic[4][5] with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. [28], Nigerian American professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard University, Jacob Olupona summarized the many traditional African religions as complex animistic religious traditions and beliefs of the African people before the Christian and Islamic "colonization" of Africa. From our own study of the African Traditional Religion, we find there are unmistakably elements of animism. View All Available Formats & Editions. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. In the United States Vudon is more predominant in the states along the Gulf of Mexico. / The defining line between deities and ancestors is often contested, but overall, ancestors are believed to occupy a higher level of existence than living human beings and are believed to be able to bestow either blessings or illness upon their living descendants. In addition there is a sizable number of adherents in African-influenced religions in the Americas and elsewhere in the world. Britannica Book of the Year 2003. [15], Followers of traditional African religions are also found around the world. Ancestors (ancestral ghosts/spirits) are an integral part of reality. All aspects of weather, thunder, lightning, rain, day, moon, sun, stars, and so on may become amenable to control through the cosmology of African people. The Benin Monarchy, Olokun & Iha Ominigbon. Why should we study the religion of indigenous Africans in this age? In this work we shall look at these five elements as the philosophical foundation of African Traditional Religion. Like most websites, we use cookies to improve our service and make your user experience better. African Traditional religion (ATR) is one of the world religions with a great people and a great past. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. Last week, in a veiled comparison between African traditional religions and Christianity, which is the major religion in Jamaica, some of the key elements of African traditional religions were discussed using Kenya-born Professor John S. Mbiti, a well-known scholar and researcher of African religions, as the main reference. Encyclopædia Britannica, (2003), Index of African mythology and creation narratives, List of African deities and mythical figures, Traditional African Religion and other religions, Persecution of traditional African religion, "The world of spirits and the respect for nature: towards a new appreciation of animism", "Animism: Foundation of Traditional Healing in Sub-Saharan Africa", What is religion? [40] With a long farming tradition, the Serer high priests and priestesses (Saltigue) deliver yearly sermons at the Xooy Ceremony (divination ceremony) in Fatick before Yoonir's phase in order to predict winter months and enable farmers to start planting.[41]. $36.00. African Traditional religion (ATR) is one of the world religions with a great people and a great past. Ship This Item — Qualifies for Free Shipping Buy Online, Pick up in Store Check Availability at Nearby Stores. The traditional belief systems, spirituality and faith of West African peoples has been described in more or less disparaging terms over the course of history, broad terms that fail to reflect the complexity and depth of these beliefs: “paganism”, “animism”, “ancestor-worship”, “idolatry”, “fetishism”, “heathenism”, etc. Introduction to African religion. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. / In response to this question, the book argues that since ATR is part of the African people's culture, there is a need to understand this cultural background in order to contextualize Christian theology. Currently I am about to complete a book on this question of the encounter between the biblical faith and African religion. 17–19, Parrinder, Geoffrey. In this case, the book is important for students of comparative religion in universities and colleges who strive to understand the various religions and their practices. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of Africa.It should be noted that any attempt to generalize about the nature of “African religions” risks wrongly implying that there is homogeneity among all African cultures.In fact, Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. . The book argues very strongly that African religion, cultures and worldviews have to be subjected to Biblical authority, definition and teachings, Christianity as a religious system with its sets of beliefs, practices and religious life does not meet an empty traditional African mind, but one, which is already preoccupied with the African traditional religious thought. The number of traditional elements in medieval alchemy varies from 4, 5, or 8. [26][20][21][27], Traditional African medicine is also directly linked to traditional African religions. [25], Some researchers, including historical ethnolinguist Christopher Ehret, suggest that certain monotheistic concepts, such as the belief in a creator god or force (next to other gods, deities and spirits) are ancient and indigenous among peoples of the Niger-Congo ethnolinguistic family (of much of West Africa and Central Africa) and date to the beginning of their history, in a form substantially different from the monotheism found in Abrahamic religions. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs. The three main religious traditions—African traditional religion, Christianity, and Islam—constitute the triple religious heritage of the African continent. African Traditional religion (ATR) is one of the world religions with a great people and a great past. When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Africans. [10][11][12][13][14] The two Abrahamic religions are widespread across Africa, though mostly concentrated in different areas. Most African societies believe in several “high gods” and a large amount of lower gods and spirits. These five elements he called the structures of African Traditional Religion, while Awolalu and Dopamu see them as the features of West African Traditional Religion (1979: 32-35). [21][22] New world religions such as Santería, Vodun, and Candomblé, would be derived from this world. [16], 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. Suggest an Out-of-Print Title for Republication, Testimonials from Our Customers and Authors, Tips for Tracking Down a Hard-to-Find Book, Terms | Policies | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice. This builds skills at separating the feelings elicited by this mindset from their situational manifestations in daily life. Traditional Niger-Congo religion also included polytheistic and animistic elements. In recent times, traditional religions, such as the Yoruba religion, are on the rise. These statements await further exploration by African theologians. [30], West and Central African religious practices generally manifest themselves in communal ceremonies or divinatory rites in which members of the community, overcome by force (or ashe, nyama, etc. Paperback. [31], When this trance-like state is witnessed and understood, adherents are privy to a way of contemplating the pure or symbolic embodiment of a particular mindset or frame of reference. AU$25.00. African Traditional religion (ATR) is one of the world religions with a great people and a great past. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. This bitter conflict has led to wanton destruction of lives and property, and this has become a source of great worry to the writers. WELCOME TO OUR NEW WEBSITE!! There are also religions with a single Supreme being (Chukwu, Nyame, Olodumare, Ngai, Roog, etc.). Umewaen: Journal of Benin & Edoid Studies: Osweego, NY. © 2020 Wipf and Stock Publishers. It is embraced by Africans within and outside the continent despite the various ethnic religious practices and beliefs. [1] Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural and passed down from one generation to another through folk tales, songs and festivals,[2][3] include belief in an amount of higher and lower gods, sometimes including a supreme creator or force, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional African medicine. The Semitic Abrahamic religion of Judaism is comparable to the latter world view. This heritage, though contemporarily more dynamically evidenced, has a long history and influence. Also, this practice can also give rise to those in these trances uttering words which, when interpreted by a culturally educated initiate or diviner, can provide insight into appropriate directions which the community (or individual) might take in accomplishing its goal. Folk religions are challenging to measure. According to Clemmont E. Vontress, the various religious traditions of Africa are united by a basic Animism. Less institutionalized and more diffuse than many other faiths, folk religions often are omitted as a category in surveys even in countries where they are widely practiced. This book highlights and discusses the common elements which introduce African Traditional Religion as one unified religion and not a collection of religions. African traditional religions in some parts of Africa, have had an elaborate pantheon of divinities. This book highlights and discusses the common elements which introduce African Traditional Religion as one unified religion and not a collection of religions. [17] Traditional African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. religion reveal have a number of the basic features of all religions (Burnett 1995:57). The term “Primal” is used to refer to religions which were there prior to the so-called “universal” religions such as Christianity, Islam, etc. The religion of the Yoruba is finding roots in the Islands of the Caribbean and portions of Central and South America. In the mid-20th century scholars debated whether there were distinctive African elements embedded in black American religious practices, as in music and dancing. Art, Religion and Symbolic Beliefs in Traditional African Context: A Case for Sculpture Akpomuvie. It is embraced by Africans within and . Although moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions are commonly constituent elements of the religious life, cult or worship is generally accepted as the most basic and universal element. (Turner 1994a:129). The difference between powerful spirits and gods is often minimal. While some traditions have a supreme being (next to other deities), others have not. Mligo has published several books and articles including Jesus and the Stigmatized (Pickwick Publication, 2011), Writing Academic Papers (Resource Publication, 2012), and Doing Effective Fieldwork (Resource Publication, 2013). Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle). [23][24][20] San religion is generally non-theistic but a belief in a Spirit or Power of existence which can be tapped in a trance-dance; trance-healers. Among Afro-Asiatic-speakers is henotheism, the belief in one's own gods but accepting the existence of other gods; evil here is caused by malevolent spirits. In the case of African traditional religion, it can be traced back to the very beginning of the emergence of African peoples. Some sacred or holy locations for traditional religions include Nri-Igbo, the Point of Sangomar, Yaboyabo, Fatick, Ife, Oyo, Dahomey, Benin City, Ouidah, Nsukka, Kanem-Bornu, Igbo-Ukwu, and Tulwap Kipsigis, among others. This book highlights and discusses the common elements which introduce African Traditional Religion as one unified religion and not a collection of religions. In many cases, Africans who have converted to other religions have still kept up their traditional customs and practices, combining them in a syncretic way.[42]. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination. Such separation and subsequent contemplation of the nature and sources of pure energy or feelings serves to help participants manage and accept them when they arise in mundane contexts. Diverse traditional beliefs and practices of African people, Encyclopedia of African Religion (Sage, 2009). Elements of African Traditional Religion 134. by Elia Shabani Mligo, Farles Ilomo (Foreword by) Paperback $ 18.00. African Traditional religion (ATR) is one of the world religions with a great people and a great past. Religion 20 [1990] contains some articles on the study of African Religions that are worth reading. It is often combined with elements of Christianity and Islam. We have recently updated our Privacy Policy. See our updated Privacy Policy to find out more about cookies and how we use your data. "Kings, Magic & Medicine". Only by giving a belief system a proper name can a comprehensive, complex theology and cosmology emerge, along with a mor… [37] The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). 3. Benedict (PhD) Sociology Department Delta State University Abraka Abstract Nigeria has produced a great variety of art traditions and her size, diverse geography and people have contributed to sculptural richness. Raleigh, NC: SI. All Rights Reserved. He summarize that traditional African religions are not only religions, but a worldview, a way of life. The fifth, aether, is important in some traditions. Normally this comes through the expression of exercising some kind of ritualized power. Since Christianity came in contact with the traditional religion, there has always been a sharp conflict between traditionalists and Christians. Diviner (also known as priest) are also sought for their wisdom as counselors in life and for their knowledge of herbal medicine. The will of the gods or spirits is sought by the believer also through consultation of divinities or divination. Elements of the Traditional Religions. The first four are always found. Ancestors can offer advice and bestow good fortune and honor to their living dependents, but they can also make demands, such as insisting that their shrines be properly maintained and propitiated. [32], Followers of traditional African religions pray to various spirits as well as to their ancestors. £27.00 It is embraced by Africans within and outside the continent despite the various ethnic religious practices and beliefs. £14.00 Christianity and the African traditional religion(s): The postcolonial round of engagement. / He also notes that most modern African folk religions were strongly influenced by non-African religions, mostly Christianity and Islam and thus may differ from the ancient forms. This Ghanaian Adinkra symbol means \"except for God\" and symbolizes the supremacy of God. ), World Christian Encyclopedia, summarized here, "Ancient African Religion Finds Roots In America", "The Need to Re-Conceptualize African Traditional Religion", The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1800, Black God: the Afroasiatic roots of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions, Sayings of the Ancient One - Wisdom from Ancient Africa, culture-exchange.blog/animism-modern-africa, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Traditional_African_religions&oldid=993873564, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with dead external links from October 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Manjonjo Healers of Chitungwiza of Zimbabwe, Information presented here was gleaned from, Chidester, David. It is embraced by Africans within and outside the continent despite the various ethnic religious practices and beliefs. It originated from the soil of Africa. Peavy, D., (2016). / According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. AU$15.99, $36.00 It is a tolerant, accommodative and peaceful religion that fights those that attack it. Traditional healers are common in most areas, and their practices include a religious element to varying degrees. La Vergne : Wipf and Stock Publishers, ©2013: Material Type: Document, Internet resource: Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File: All Authors / Contributors: Elia Shabani Mligo; Farles Ilomo. For the Kikuyu, according to their primary supreme creator, Ngai, acting through the lesser deities, is believed to speak to and be capable of guiding the virtuous person as one's conscience. Elements of African Traditional Religion [Elia Mligo] is 20% off every day at WipfandStock.com. 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. The people were born, nurtured and they grew in it. March 2011; Verbum et Ecclesia 32(1) DOI: 10.4102/ve.v32i1.285. Introduction Three words in the title call for comment: African, traditional and religion. The most important thing is that in the new South Africa religion and spirituality are used to create greater understanding and harmony rather than to divide people as was done in the past. Some articles on the ground ( often within a circle ), nurtured and they grew in.... The African traditional religion ( ATR ) is one of the Yoruba is finding roots the! More similarities than differences in all traditional African religions adopted different views through the of! 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