Christianity and African Traditional Religion in Kumasi

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CHRISTIANITY AND AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION IN KUMASI: A COMPARATIVE STUDY

by

Amponsah Samuel Effah B.A. (Hons) Theology

A Thesis submitted to the school of graduate studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

MASTER OF ARTS (AFRICAN ART AND CULTURE)
Faculty of Art, College of Art and Social Science

May, 2009 2009 Department of General Art Studies

i

DECLARATION
I hereby declare that this submission is my own work towards the MA African Art and Culture and that to the best of my knowledge, it contains no material previously published by another person not material which has been accepted for the award of any other degree of the University, except where due acknowledgement has been made in the text.

AMPONSAH SAMUEL EFFAH STUDENT’S NAME

PG 8274005 ID No

______________ SIGNATURE

_____________ DATE

CERTIFIED BY: DR. OPAMPHEN OSEI AGYEMAN (SUPERVISOR’S NAME) _______________ SIGNATURE ______________ DATE

CERTIFIED BY: DR. JOE ADU-AGYEM (HEAD OF DEPARTMENT’S NAME) _______________ SIGNATURE ______________ DATE

ii

DEDICATION
This work is first and foremost dedicated to the Almighty God for His Love and Abundant Mercies. Secondly, I dedicate it to my lovely wife, Mrs. Victoria Amponsah (Inspector of Ghana Prisons Service, Kumasi) and adorable sons, Caleb, Emmanuel and Mensa O. A. Amponsah for their patience and support. Lastly, to my parents and loved ones for the wonderful roles they have played in my life, I shall forever be grateful.

iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I offer my profound gratitude to God Almighty for granting me strength and fortitude to complete this work. Secondly, for continual prayer, financial support and encouragement, I convey my gratitude to the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Churches, Dr. Mensa Otabil, Deacons and Deaconesses of the Atonsu Branch of the International Central Gospel Church, Prayer Temple, Kumasi, Ghana. Also, my deepest appreciation and gratitude go to my supervisor, Dr. Osei Agyeman, Former Head of Department, General Art Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, for his experience and patience he brought to bear during his supervisory role of this work. Indeed, my sincere appreciation goes to Mr. Adam Rahman (Lecturer at KNUST, a Deacon at ICGC, Atonsu Branch, who took pictures of the African Traditionalists during the interview sessions with the latter. Finally, Mr. Peter Annan Aborhey (Ghana Post Company Limited) could not be left out for his invaluable suggestions and the typing of the project.

iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS Pages Declaration Dedication Acknowledgements Table of Contents List of Figures List of Tables Abstract CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Background of the study Statement of the Problem Hypothesis Objectives Scope of the Study Limitation Significance of the Study/Importance of the study Chapter Organization Definition of Terms 1 1 3 3 3 4 4 5 5 7 ii iii iv v ix xi xii

CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Overview Global Perspective on Religions Perspective on African Traditional Religion Misconceptions Paganism v 8 8 13 15 16 17

Heathenism Fetishism Animism Idolatry Primitive and Native 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 Christianity In Africa Today Perspective on Ghanaian Religious Mix African Traditional Religions African Traditional Religion in Ghana Characteristics of African Traditional Religion General Similarities Between Christianity and African Traditional Religion 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Creator God The presence of Evil Unseen Realm Emphasis on Community Covenant General Differences between Christianity and African Traditional Religion 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 Religious Co-habitation In communities Contemporary Attitude and Practice Freedom of Religion in Ghana Influence of Christianity and African Traditional Religion on Host Communities

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