Influence of Religion on African Culture.

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Table of contents

Introduction…………………………………………………..3

African Traditional Religion……………………………….5

Christianity, Islam…………………………………………..6

Influences of Religion on African Culture……………….6

Conclusion……………………………………………………13

References…………………………………………………...14

Introduction

Africa is a continent of diversity. In this diversity there are hundreds of tribes and communities each practicing its own culture and religion. It would be very difficult to define Africa’s traditional religion as it would be difficult to define its culture. More so, it is extremely difficult to establish the dividing line between African Culture and African Religion. However, as much as there were many African Traditional Religions, their similarities were more dominant than their differences. We take up these similarities and encompass them as one African Traditional Religion.

In this report, we explore the important aspects of Africa’s Traditional Religions and cultures that cut across the entire continent. This essay is based on various researches done by prominent scholars, historical background of Africa, news and books relevant to African studies. This report attempts to define religion, culture, and explores the major religions, African Traditional Religion (ATR), Christianity and Islam and their influence and impact on African culture.

Africa is one of the World’s six continents. It is the second largest and second most populous continent after Asia. Other continents include; Asia, America-North, America-South, Australia, Europe. Geologically, Present-day Africa, occupying one-fifth of Earth's land surface, is the central remnant of the ancient southern supercontinent called Gondwanaland, a landmass once made up of South America, Australia, Antarctica, India, and Africa. This massive supercontinent broke apart between 195 million and 135 million years ago, cleaved by the same geological forces that continue to transform Earth's crust today. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With 1.0 billion people (as of 2009) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.72% of the world's human population.

The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent has 54 sovereign states, including Madagascar, various island groups, and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a member state of the African Union whose statehood is disputed by Morocco. Afri was the name of several Semitic peoples who dwelt in North Africa near Carthage (in modern Tunisia). Their name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from a Berber word ifri or Ifran meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers. Africa or Ifri or Afer is name of Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania (Berber Tribe of Yafran).

Pre-colonial Africa possessed perhaps as many as 10,000 different states and polities characterised by many different sorts of political organisation and rule. These included small family groups of hunter-gatherers such as the San people of southern Africa; larger, more structured groups such as the family clan groupings of the Bantu-speaking people of central and southern Africa, heavily structured clan groups in the Horn of Africa, the large Sahelian kingdoms, and autonomous city-states and kingdoms such as those of the Akan, Yoruba and Igbo people (also misspelled as Ibo) in West Africa, and the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa.

Religion originates from the Latin world religare (re: back, and ligare: to bind), and this brings up the world "being bound.” faith is usually the core element of religion. Faith encompasses "Value-center," "trust,"...
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