The Igbo Religion

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All throughout history, religion has had an enormous influence on writing. Many memorable authors––Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, and Chinua Achebe, to name few––have displayed their religion and the religion of their country in their writing. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about the Christian religion of London in The Canterbury Tales, while William Shakespeare incorporated Catholicism and Protestantism into his plays Hamlet and Macbeth. Chinua Achebe wrote about Christianity, as well as the Igbo beliefs and customs, in Things Fall Apart. Many people that lived in London during the 1300s were Christians and prayed to several different saints for help and guidance (“What was life like in medieval London?”). Thomas Becket was a patron saint…show more content…
The Igbo religion had been passed on from generation to generation, which caused them to be so strong in their religion, so when the white missionaries came and tried to convert them, they were very unwilling to switch to Christianity (Kucharski, Mike.). The fictional characters in the novel participated in certain rituals that reflect the religion of the Igbo people. When public events take place in the novel, the egwugwu, who represent the ancestors and deities, meet with all the people of the village in one space; this shows that the Igbo had a religion that influenced their government (Ogbaa, Kalu.). In the later chapters of Things Fall Apart, Achebe uses a conversation between Okonkwo and Obierika to say that the village’s way of life works because of their land, language, customs, and religion, but the white missionaries disturbed the peace of their village and caused things to begin to go badly for the Igbo (Achebe, Chinua.). Throughout the whole novel, Achebe points out the main differences between the Igbo religion and Christianity. The differences between the two religions brings about a lot of confusion and violence to the villages. The white missionaries point out that the Igbo gods are nothing more than pieces of wood and stone, but the Igbo argue that there is plenty of information to indicate that their gods are very powerful and dangerous (Nagelsen,
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