Name of Student: …………………………………………………………..
By Rabbi Mezuzah 2013
AFRICAN TRADIONAL RELIGION
This is a module that explores the beliefs systems, rites of passage as well as the value system in African Traditional Religion (ATR). It also looks at why Christian pastors/leaders have to know something about these religions.
By the end of this unit, you should be able to:
• Explain what African Traditional Religion is;
• Distinguish and explain reasons for the different labels for African Traditional Religion;
• Define African Traditional Religion and explain its contents; and
• Describe the relationship between African culture and African Traditional Religion
• Discuss the reasons why leaders have to learn about the religion
• Assess the roles played by humans in the religions
• Critically the differences between the Christian belief systems and ATR.
It is noted with great concern that as leaders there are great need for them to be well versed in the religions of the people they want to evangelise. The missionaries in Africa had to study the places they were venturing into so that they will be not foreign in almost everything. They studied the language and the culture of the people they were to evangelise, and this was very ideal.
Acts 17:22-24 gives us a very good scenario. Paul here was alone and he had moved around the place. He saw for himself what the people believed in and obviously he was told about the legend that circulated in the place. Hence, with the knowledge that he had, he was able to teach them about the unknown God they were worshipping.
Knowledge about the belief systems of a community would reduce clashes with the leadership of the area that would deter the development of the Gospel. Pastors as well are encouraged to be well versed in the culture and religion of the people they want the gospel to be preached to.
NB. You are expected to write two essays before
Bibliography: 1. Assimeng, M. (1989), Religion and Social Change in West Africa: An Introduction to the Sociology of religion, Accra: Ghana UniversityPress, 1989. 2. Awolalu, J. 0. & Dopamu, P. A. (1979). West African Traditional Religion,Ibadan: Onibonoje Press. 3. Awolalu, J. O. & Dopamu, P. A. (1979). West African Traditional Religion, Ibadan: Onibonoje Press. 4. Balogun, I. A. B. (1976). Religious Understanding and Co-operation in Nigeria, Ilorin, (Proceedings of a Seminar organised by the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, 7th- 11th August,1976. 5. Benjamin, Ray (2000). African Religions: Symbols, Ritual, and Community 2nd Edition. Englewood Cliff, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 6. Eliade, M. (ed.) (1987). The Encyclopedia of Religion, (Vol.10) New York: Macmillan Publishing Company 7. Gyekye, K 8. Gyekye, K. (1996). African Cultural Values, Philadelphia: Sankofa Publishing Company. 9. Iatvoet, J. P. (ed) et al. (1996). The Study of Religions in Africa: Past, Present and Prospects, Cambridge: Roots and Branches, 1996. 10. Kunin, S.O. (ed.) et al. (2006). Theories of Religion, New Jersey: RutgersUniversity Press. 12. Mbiti, J. S. (1969). African Religions and Philosophy, London: Longman 13. Mugambi & K 16. Opoku, K. A. (1787). West African Traditional Religion, Singapore: FEP Int.Private Ltd. 17. Platvoet, J. et al. (ed). (1996).The Study of Religions in Africa: Past, Present and Prospects, Cambridge: Roots and Branches. 18. Ray, B. (2000). African Religions, New Jersey: Prentice