Africanology Equals People/Religion As One Essay

939 words - 4 pages

The general consensus regarding Africans, traditional religion, and their history is the unique inseparableness and must be considered as a unity of culture and environment; a people that live and breathe their very existence entwined into every aspect of their daily lives, their reverence to the supreme god of their ancestors and by extension themselves. In an article: What is African Traditional Religion? written by J. O. Awolalu: “RELIGION is a fundamental, perhaps the most important, influence in the life of most Africans; yet its essential principles are too often unknown to foreigners who thus make themselves constantly liable to misunderstand the African worldview and beliefs. ...view middle of the document...

It has no founders or reformers like Gautama the Buddha, Asoka, Christ, or Muhammad. It is not the religion of one hero. It has no missionaries, or even the desire to propagate the religion, or to proselytize. However, the adherents are loyal worshippers and, probably because of this, Africans who have their roots in the indigenous religion, find it difficult to sever connection with it.”

Africans therefore cannot separate themselves from their religion, their rituals, or their festivals, thereby negating the ability to study only the history or the religion of the traditional Africans. J. O. Awolalu and John Mbiti do however agree: “Religion is the strongest element in traditional background, and exerts probably the greatest influence upon the thinking and living of the people concerned” (Mbiti; 1).
The South African History Online program confirms and/or agrees with Mbiti and Awolalu stating: “Traditional African religion is a way of life in which ancestors are part of every major event such as wedding, births and deaths as well as less important ones such as getting a job and finishing university. During these events usually an offering is made to honour, please and thank the ancestors. A cow, sheep or chicken is slaughtered and the ancestors are called to receive the offering and bless the gathering. Although traditional African religion recognizes a Supreme God, followers do not worship him or her directly as they do not feel worthy enough. They therefore ask the ancestors to communicate on their behalf. The Supreme Being is called upon in times of great hardship and need, like drought or epidemic that may threaten the entire community. The Supreme Being is the connection between people and their environment.” Since a people are connected to their environment (each tribe copes with the necessity of acquiring foodstuffs and replenishing of the species) and connected unto their very essence unto their...

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