African Religion

994 Words4 Pages
With regards to the term "religion", it was not until the end of colonialism at the turn of the 20th century that scholars began to use religion to characterize African religion positively. Before then, some terms some terms with clearly negative and demeaning connotations were used by the scholars to refer to African religion constitutes. For example, Tylor, coined the term "animism" in relation to African religions. In the lenses of Tylor African religions was the same in appearance and primitive nature to regard each object as its own soul, creating faith in innumerable spirits in the universe (Johnson, 21)

Related used terms were fetishism, paganism, savage, and paganism among others. The use of these terms by Western anthropologists
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To be commended are also some anthropologists such as Mercel, Griaule, Victor Turner, Edward E. Evans-Pritchard and others. Going back to JS Bolaji Intogou and E Mbiti, as Christians, sought to deny the alleged inferiority of African missionary religion and even argue that traditional religions are the foundation upon which Christianity was entrenched in Africa.
For these theologians, the Africans had known God before the missionaries came. Refusing to swallow Western arrogance, Mbiti made clear, the missionaries who brought the Gospel in Africa over the past 2 centuries did not bring God in our continent. Instead, they were God led. They preached the name of Jesus Christ. But he used the name of God, who was and who is already known by people as Africans Mulungu, Olodumare Katonda, Ngai Ruhanga Ruwa Asis, and myriads more. These names were the names of one and the same God, the Creator of the world, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mbiti,
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Mbiti has taken a step forward in trying to Christianity and Islam must be considered indigenous and traditional religions in Africa, because of their deep historical roots of the continent (223). So powerful is the argument may seem, it is worth noting that the view has not gained acceptance by many researchers. Some researchers, for example, E. Bolaji Intogou, Christopher J. Opuku Ejizu Kofi Asare and others want to keep and use the "traditional" word for the initial experience of the sacred is grown from the African people and the expression of this practical experience through various different ecological and socio-historical.

What should be stressed, however, that the term "traditional" does not mean that African religion is static or unchanging from one season to another. According to the original meaning in Latin, trader, the term implies that the life experience and expression are delivered from one generation to another. In the words of Kofi Asare Opoku, referring to the religion as "traditional" does not imply it’s a thing of the past; it just shows that it is maintained by a system of indigenous values and mainly that has its own model, with its own historical heritage and tradition of the past (Opoku,
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