An important preoccupation of Mbiti’s work has been to show that knowledge of God and the worship of God have been staples of African life from the earliest times on the continent. He summarize that traditional African religions are not only religions, but a worldview, a way of life. Personal devotion is very significant to Buddhism; it is so important that Buddhists create shrines in their own homes that help believers remember their ancestors and Buddhist texts. African Traditional Religion is associated with fatalism, rooted in animism and ancestor veneration. 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It is often said there are more places of worship than schools or hospitals. "There is no limit as to where and when African peoples perform one or more act of worship. 38 African Traditional Religion Often the African concept of monotheism is one of a hierar- chy with a Supreme Being at its head. In Nigeria, Oshun festivals take place in the courtyard of the oba (king) as well as in the sacred grove of Oshun. However, there were many traditional religions practiced prior to the arrival of these two religions. [16], Animism builds the core concept of traditional African religions, this includes the worship of tutelary deities, nature worship, ancestor worship and the belief in an afterlife. The traditional African understanding and the interpretation of Christianity have deep roots in these fundamental beliefs of the African traditional religions. Copyright © 2020 The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited. The prayers are usually short, extemporaneous, and succinct, and may be accompanied by sacrifices and offerings. Singing is very common in religious gatherings and ceremonies, "which not only helps to pass on religious knowledge from one person to a group or another, but helps create and strengthen corporate feelings and solidarity". Basics. [37] The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). Among African peoples, the worship of God takes place at any place and time. From the Traditional Music and Cultures of Kenya, a multimedia encyclopaedia dedicated to all Kenyan tribes, including music and dance, history, culture, society, religion and beliefs, rituals and daily life, fables, legends, riddles and proverbs. The Semitic Abrahamic religion of Judaism is comparable to the latter world view. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, founded in 670, is a treasure trove of history and is at the heart of the city’s heritage. Shrines are sanctuaries for animals and humans. African Traditional Religions. Modernity has not put a total stop to the influence of Indigenous African spirituality Photo: DailyPost S. Mbiti, John (1991). Unit 1 God in Africa: Concept, Attributes and Worship..... 43 Unit 2 Cult of the Divinities in Africa ..... 51 Unit 3 The Nature and Concept of Humanity in African ... African Traditional Religion: The Quest for Appropriate Nomenclature The Structure of African Traditional Religion INTRODUCTION TO RELIGION CONTENTS 1.0 Introduction While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. Though there is no strict time and place of worship, worship takes place in special shrines, temples, altars, groves and other sacred places used for public sacrifices and prayers. Read More. In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a person or a community lives. The aim of the study is to facilitate the inculturation of the Christian faith in traditional Venda religion and culture, by trying to understand the present relation between the Christian faith and traditional Venda religion and culture, as it is found in the ‘religion of ordinary women and men’ in Venda. According to Clemmont E. Vontress, the various religious traditions of Africa are united by a basic Animism. Here is a question requiring a whole article of its own, and I’ll tell you why. Belief. The major faiths practiced in South Africa are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, traditional African religions and Judaism. 'The Afri-can attitude to God is perhaps understood least' (Sawyer, 1970, p. ix). Between the 1500s and the 1800s, many thousands of Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves. ATR (African Traditional Religion) Introduction Three religions dominates African continent: ATR, Islam and Christianity. Praying is the commonest form of worship among traditional African peoples. 37The Supreme Being 38. The challenge is to study faith, proverbs, traditions and mythology across Africa to identify the fragments of religion passed down as oral traditions and mythology in the great cultures of the continent. Peter C. Phan, as quoted by Bevans and Today, around 10 percent of the African population still practice some form of traditional religion. And since Africans live in a religious universe, proverbs and songs that express reverence for and gratitude to God are everywhere. B. Ellis, [16] and S. S. Farrow. General Overviews. B. Ellis,16 and S. S. Farrow.17 The most One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. Encyclopædia Britannica. Animism builds the core concept of traditional African religions, this includes the worship of tutelary deities, nature worship, ancestor worship and the belief in an afterlife.While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. The structure was originally built by a general named Uqba ibn Nafi as a Friday Mosque used for communal prayers on the Muslim holy day. 37. Death is seen as a person's deeper connection with all creation. READ MORE: Nigerian private sector needs to stay home. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. Some people worship God throughout the entire day, as they believe God is everywhere, seeing and hearing them, while for others, formal worship is arbitrary, unnecessary even, as they feel their awareness and acceptance of God's omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence are within themselves worship. There are no strict rules governing when people should worship, but the practice and customs of worship vary from place to place, and people worship for special reasons, such as harvest festivals, the rites of birth, initiation, marriage and death, planting time, times of national need, before or during hunting, gathering and fishing, the blessing of cattle, unusual phenomena, and the coronation of chiefs and kings. They are aware of their spirituality, and the relationship between themselves and this almighty supreme being (God), who pervades all aspects of their existence, and who is far removed from them (transcendental) and is within them (immanent) at the same time. Percentage of population practicing traditional religion. Ancestor Religion(s) and/or African Traditional Religion was pioneered by the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, that is, the coinage of the word and it was meat to serve academic purposes only. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. The possessed are referred to as “horsemen,” because they are … African religion centres on belief and practices. Gods were either self-created or evolved from spirits or ancestors which got worshiped by the people. They respond to this awareness by worshipping through deeds and sayings that vary from community to community. Sufism and traditional African beliefs have a significant influence on the Islamic religion practiced in the Gambia. Shrines are located in a separate room or a quiet area of the home. African Traditional Religion is referred to the diverse beliefs that are included in various ethnic regions in Africa.The religion is characterized mainly by: 1.Supreme Being The African societies and ethnic communities believed in a supreme being who had different names for different communities.The people worshiped this God through singing,offering sacrifices,dancing,dedications … [1][7], Adherents of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million. The religion is a mixture of traditional Yoruba, Fon and Bantu beliefs which originated from different regions in Africa, and it has also incorporated some aspects of the Catholic faith over time. Virtue in traditional African religion is often connected with carrying out obligations of the communal aspect of life. RELIGION AS A PERCENTAGE OF WORLD POPULATION: 1.3 percent OVERVIEW. Traditional Zulu Religion Throughout Zulu history, there has been hardly an aspect of traditional Zulu life in which religion has not played a part: in warfare, in ceremonies, in the different stages and crises in people's personal lives, in agriculture and economic well-being and so on. This religion is about the death which means the end of one phase and the beginning of another. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. The defining line between deities and ancestors is often contested, but overall, ancestors are believed to occupy a higher level of existence than living human beings and are believed to be able to bestow either blessings or illness upon their living descendants. (Worship of the vodun is the original source of the Haitian religion of Vodou, which emerged as a syncretism of African, Roman Catholic, and Caribbean religious traditions by African slaves in Haiti.) Symbolism and imagery in traditional religion include the carved statues housed in shrines, the veves traced on the ground in voodoo religion etc. For centuries the barriers of desert, tropical forest, and sea prevented religions from spreading south. 3.3 AIC’S AND AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION There is a veritable smorgasbord of denominations within the South African AIC move-ment, many of which consist of a single congregation. Buddhist temples are places for personal reverence, ancestor worship, meditation, and offerings for monks and the Buddha. 62 African Traditional Religion A traditional mask from Benin inWest Africa worn during the Gelede ceremony.The masks are worn by men during a ritual performance that takes place between March and May at the beginning of the new agricultural season. It deals with their cosmology, ritual practices, symbols, arts, society and so on .because religion is a way of life, it relates to culture and society as they affect the worldview of the African people. The prayers are usually short, extemporaneous, and succinct, and may be accompanied by sacrifices and offerings. Major Muslim holidays are observed as national holidays in the Gambia. Introduction This article explores the place of African Traditional Religion (specifically Congolese Traditional Religion) in inter-religious encounters with Christianity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Temples are huge houses, generally cared for by a priest. According to him, the belief in spirits and ancestors is the most important element of African religions. Traditional Niger-Congo religion also included polytheistic and animistic elements. [38] Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination. As in most of sub-Saharan Africa, ATR is the indigenous religion … Altars are sacred spots used for offerings and sacrifices, and can be found in shrines and temples or in the open air. Africa is a vast continent, with many races, but in religion as in other matters it is helpful for study to divide the continent at the Sahara Desert. This belief, just as in the case of the previous one, has a theological basis – the plurality of divinities ( polytheism ). If you meant “Yoruba traditional religion”, I would still have a hard time answering you because the traditional Yorubas believed in so many things. African Traditional Religion is a thriving scholarly business, but a serious disconnect exists between contributions that celebrate a generalized African Traditional Religion and those that describe particular religions and aspects of religion on the basis of ethnographic and archival research. The most prominent were R. S. Rattray, [14] P. A. Talbot, [15] A. This is just one part of it It is superstitious It is animism or paganism It is magic or fetishism African Religion embraces all these four ideas in its belief. [25], Some researchers, including historical ethnolinguist Christopher Ehret, suggest that certain monotheistic concepts, such as the belief in a creator god or force (next to other gods, deities and spirits) are ancient and indigenous among peoples of the Niger-Congo ethnolinguistic family (of much of West Africa and Central Africa) and date to the beginning of their history, in a form substantially different from the monotheism found in Abrahamic religions. 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