VALLEY VIEW UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AND MISSION
COURSE TITLE: AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION
NAME: AMOAH ALEXANDER
INDEX NO.: 215PG01000734
QUESTION: TO WHAT EXTENT CAN A CHILD BE AN INCARNATION OF THE FATHER AND THE GRANDFATHER
African thought tends to define a person in terms of the group he belongs to. There is an ontological element in man linking him to his family and through the family to the clan. In many societies in Africa, it is believed that the ancestral spirit guardian incarnate in each newly born, maintains the unbroken ontological bond between a man and his family, his lineage and his clan. This essay discusses the extent to which a child can be an incarnation of the father and the grandfather. The approach is the analysis of the African thought regarding believe in incarnation and reincarnation.
African Concept of Man
The African concept of man is broad. I will only concern myself with only the view or beliefs that relate closely to the concept of incarnation. Mention needs to be made of the fact that Africans belief that a man (human) is a compound of material (body) and immaterial substances (spirit). Only the body or material substances die, the spirit lives or survives and links with the creator. Though separable at death, while a person is alive, the body and spirit are linked in such a way that what affects one affects the other. It is also important to mention the fact that, African defines a man in terms of community life or a group he belongs to. A man is what the community makes him. “A man is a man because of others”, proverb from Malawi states. Another proverb from Malawi states, “Life is when you are together, alone you are an animal.” In the traditional African society, a person experiences life, first through his family, the lineage, the clan and the tribe. Life for the traditional African man is complex and interwoven in the community life. An individual first encounters the family, then becomes...
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