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African spirituality is a way of life. Noen could have children, and when they became old they did not die but became young again! 2nd ed. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. Key words: Myths, communalistic, african philosophy, earth and God. Using readings 1 to 4 explain African contribution to humanity, to world civilization and world spirituality, and specifically to Judaism, Christianity and the Bible. Monotheism’s insistence on the Oxford, United Kingdom: Heinemann Educational Publishers. Enter your email to calculate the total cost. These are vital questions which we shall now consider. Of each he created male and female. In many respects he is a pioueer, one of the first to attempt to systematize and analyze, from an insider's perspective, the African understanding of the world in which we live and bow that understanding affects the Africans' view of Christianity. The Supreme Being is personal in the sense of possessing personhood; therefore deity is referred to as a ‘He’ and not as an ‘it’ or a ‘power’ (Gehman, 2005: 319). It is clear that there is much in common between the biblical view of God and the African concept of the Supreme Being. ...The problem is not that God did not speak clearly to the African in the past: the problem is rather what the African did with the revelation he received from God. & SPENCER, W.D. Is the African concept of God an effective praeparateo evangelica for African Christianity? In this case, so-called "salvation history" must widen its outreach in order to embrace the horizons of other peoples’ histories”. Rather, the Supreme Being commissions other beings in the spiritual hierarchy to undertake these tasks. We can work on The Impact of Nursing Informatics on Patient Outcomes and Patient Care Efficiencies, We can work on Managerial economics – week 3 assignment – Assignment Help, We can work on A Firm’s Capital Structure, We can work on Teamwork in the Work Place, We can work on University of California Irvine North Korea Nuclear Program Discussion – Assignment Help, Egyptian origin of Monotheism (by Jan Assmann, German Egyptologist). The number of gods and goddesses varies from culture to culture. The gods of Africa or the God of the Bible? The Christian faith knows and worships one God, who is revealed in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. “In West Africa,” said Parrinder, “men believe in great pantheons of gods which are as diverse as the gods of the Greeks or the Hindus. INTRODUCTION Philosophy as a discipline is the reflection of mankind on the ideas and institutions guiding their existence. 1999. In Africa, God is viewed in both immanent and transcendent dimensions. Thus, the God of the Bible is different to the Supreme Being of Africa in that he is knowable and relational. African mythology covers a vast area. I ordered two works on Economics and I scored an A and B. Our knowledge of God cannot be exhaustive, for the finite is attempting to understand the Infinite who has revealed Himself. Explain the attributes of God according to the African traditional understanding. In so doing explain the notion of the Egyptian problem and the “Greek miracle.”, Finally explain the most important thing you learned from this assignment and how it helped you achieve the educational goals of our course. Enter your name and email below and I'll send it to you. These five basic beliefs that make up the African traditional religion are corroborated by the work of Vincent Okungu, who argued that a slight difference might be observed in these component elements with different people groups in Africa to demonstrate the peoples’ understanding of God in their locality. London: Edinburgh House press. The fundamental problem with constructing an African religious cosmology is to understand how the one god and the many gods or lesser deities can co-exist in the African context. I have opted to include fewer differences not because there are not many, but because more explanation is required. O’DONOVAN, W. 1995. Therefore, Africa has effectively made its own God. In this communication he has told people what he is like and he has offered them the possibility of relationship. Women's Experiences of God. In African Traditional Religion creator God is distant from man. SPENCER, A.B. Chapter 3 describes the basic beliefs in African traditional religions, several African ethnic groups’ concepts of God, and the African theologians’ Christianization of the African God by employing Christian theological terms. (x) God is Spirit and is invisible. When do you want our writer to submit your order? Thus, in this area, we observe a stark contrast between the biblical God and the Supreme Being. Atheistic tendencies in Africa are minimal. God was the creator of the universe. God created the tortoise (turtle), men and stones. In African Traditional Religion creator God is distant from man. These basic beliefs are: 1. Although Christian orthodoxy defines the doctrine of the Trinity, the intellectual tools used to capture it significantly vary. (vi) He is the creator who created the world and everything in it. Part 1. 1985. Seemingly, the theological view of God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to save us, needs to be further developed in the African understanding of God (Supreme Being) (cf. LESSON ONE: AFRICAN CONCEPT OF GOD, SPIRITS AND ANCESTORS Learning outcomes. 2nd ed. Noen could have children, and when they became old they did not die but became young again! After creation is done, the High god retires with little interest in, or control of, the universe. Yet, these are surface cracks which reveal to us the much greater underlying problem of idolatry. Africa Christian press. (viii) God is All-present ( Omnipresent). (ii) God is everlasting / eternal. Biblical Christianity in Africa: a collection of papers and addresses. Theological pitfalls in Africa. At different times and in different places, Western Christianity has, for … This is the meaning of the doctrine of the Trinity in Christian thought. In addition to the belief in deity, the Supreme Being of Africa largely overlaps conceptually with the identity and work of the biblical God. God is the Supreme entity to the adherents of the traditional religions of Africa and is considered to be the origin of everything in this universe. sense, African Christian theology is the understanding, presentation and concrete interpretation of the Christian faith in accordance with the needs, aspirations, thought-forms and mentality of the people of the black continent. 1950. As Christians we must believe that if Africa is to have any hope in God her God must be the God of the Bible. The invisible/ sky which is regarded as the home of God. In spite of thephilosophical inquiries or analyses undertaken by individualmoralphilosophers regarding morality … The invisible world is the residing place of God, the ancestors and all the spirits and powers. Cape Town, South Africa: Potchefstroom University. We handle assignments in a multiplicity of subject areas including Admission Essays, General Essays, Case Studies, Coursework, Dissertations, Editing, Research Papers, and Research proposals, A photo posted by Writemyclassessay (@writemyclassessay) on Oct 13, 2016 at 11:26pm PDT, We handle papers in a multiplicity of subject areas including Admission Essays, General Essays, Case Studies, Coursework, Dissertations, Editing, Research Papers, and Research proposals. Very often He “resides” in high unreachable mountains. The Doctrine of God in African Christian Thought. African turn to God when in trouble and seeking peace, happiness, and security. God’s omnipotence is particularly recognized in the powers of nature. Menkiti, Ifeanyi A., 1984. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers. These five basic beliefs that make up the African traditional religion are corroborated by the work of Vincent Okungu, who argued that a slight difference might be observed in these component elements with different people groups in Africa to demonstrate the peoples’ understanding of God in their locality. There are two major differences between the God of the Bible and the African concepts of God, which I will discuss. God is experienced as an all-pervading reality. ... Mbiti's work inspired numerous studies on God in African religions. African mythology permeates Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Niger, Ghana, Gambia, and it has been transported through slavery to Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, Guyana, Haiti and other South American and Caribbean countries. Instead of positively responding to it in faith, he resorted to idols”. However, the origin of God is generally a mystery; different myths exist in different African cultures trying to explain God’s origin. Secondly, the God of the Bible is holy and just. Tozer (1994:11) famously suggests that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us”. This left the African people with the idea that God could not handle the hostile spirits that attacked people on a daily basis. A.W. At the outset I need to say that one of the major problems in a study such as this is its vastness. Africans believed in existence of a supreme being who lived in mountains, clouds and the sky. Answers (i) God is a Spirit. “God saw what he had made, and saw that it was good” (Gn 1:31). ... Their history has a theological meaning. Indeed, we must affirm that the Bible is correct when it asserts that God’s divinity and power have been plain since the creation of the world (Romans 1:19-20). TURAKI, Y. Return to essay, ² There is some argument about whether the Supreme Being created ex nihilo or merely organised some type of existing matter. Our knowledge of God cannot be exhaustive, for the finite is attempting to understand the Infinite who has revealed Himself. Thus, at the point where revelation from the deity becomes re-creation into a new deity, it becomes impossible to see the biblical God as a continuity of the African God⁷ (Turaki, 1999: 160). Therefore we clearly see that it is not the Supreme Being who is offended by these social ills. Return to essay, ³ However, the dual activities of providing and protecting are not undertaken directly by the Supreme Being. because there is a correlation between the African understanding of family and the Church as family of God. OLUPONA: If we lose traditional African religions, we would also lose or continue to seriously undermine the African practice of rites of passage such as the much cherished age-grade initiations, which have for so long integrated and bought Africans together under a common understanding, or worldview. eds. The Supreme Being is furthermore perceived as being the creator of the world. Consequently, the family model has very enriching theocentric, trinitarian, christological, sacramental, ecclesiogenetic, pastoral, and communitarian imcations to the life and mission of the Church in Africa during the third millennium. By this label serious damage was done to the gospel in Africa. Traditional African belief is … The difference between the Western and African idea of God may be understood as a difference of names due to languages. My findings were used in teaching, but eventually I put them together in a book, Concepts of God in Africa, published by the British publisher SPCK (1970). God has not left himself without a witness in Africa; no, he has clearly spoken through what has been made. The difference between the Western and African idea of God may be understood as a difference of names due to languages. Write My Essay We are the most trusted essay writing service. Carlisle, UK : Paternoster Press. God, according to Africans manifests himself in physical phenomena, such as lightning and thunder. Indeed, God promises that he is judging sin now (Romans 1:24) and will do so in a more comprehensive way in the future (2 Peter 3:7). Also that he continues to speak to all the tribes of Africa who have not heard the Gospel can also not be denied”. God is seldom charged with wrong doing in Africa”. This very idea of Oneness of the Supreme Being is … MBITI, J.S. Return to essay, ⁶ It is worth quoting Nyirongo (1997: 16) on this point at length: “That God revealed Himself to the pre-Christian African generations cannot be denied. African ideas of God: a symposium. Even thoughmorality is the subject matter of ethics, it is most often usedinterchangeably with ‘ethics’. Complimenting this power, the Supreme Being is seen to have complete knowledge (Mbiti, 1991: 56), to be present everywhere (O’Donovan, 1995: 41), and to be eternal (Nyirongo, 1997: 11). Our aim is to help you get A+ grades on your Coursework. Byang Kato (1985: 32) states this point with great clarity when he says, “Whatever rationalization we may try to make, the worship of gods in Africa is idolatry”⁶. Rather, it seems that there is less of a chasm between God and the other spirit beings, and that the category used to understand the remoteness of the Supreme Being is not transcendence but differing communal responsibilities (Turaki, 1999: 156). The knowledge of the holy. SMITH, E.W. For Blacks, a God who does not care does not count, and they believe that the sovereign God continues to intervene in history in very concrete ways on their behalf. Whoever does the good—even if he does not yet recognize God explicitly—is a mediator of the goodness of God. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. The critical understanding of God in Zinza tribe: Perception of Waha on God, Mode of worship, Position of women in worship, Weakness of their worship and Criticisms on worship. I have opted to not include the concept of transcendence under similarities for I believe it to be an area where African theologians have fundamentally misrepresented African religion, by “‘baptising’ the data in order to project a traditional religion that is compatible with Christianity” (Bowers, 2002: 118). At a pilgrimage prayer service dedicated to the “God Beyond all Names”, Dr Nontando Hadebe reflected that in most African languages there are no pronouns. He has no physical form and is invisible. 2nd ed. (vii) God is All-understanding and knows everything. Thank you! I recommend this source. God was at the top of African … Neith, goddess sometimes associated with wisdom; Thoth, originally a moon deity, later became the god of knowledge and wisdom and the scribe of the gods; Sia, the deification of wisdom; Isis, goddess of wisdom, magic and kingship.She was said to be "more clever than a million gods". In contemplating this point Gehman (2005: 320) helpfully states, “Whatever tragedy is experienced is blamed on witchcraft or the living-dead. An African understanding of the concept of God as Spirit is common both Christianity and African traditional religion. Firstly, the God of the Bible is different to the African gods in that he is knowable and relational. Return to essay, ⁷ It is worth bearing this in mind when examining Mbiti’s (1980) statement, “When we identify the God of the Bible as the same God who is known through African religion ... we must also take it that God has had a historical relationship with African peoples. Taking elements from the known African intellectual framework, this book argues that for African Christians, the respective pre-Christian African understanding of God and the Ntu-metaphysics, in particular, function as conceptual gates for an attempt towards articulating the Trinity for African Christian audiences. (ii) God is everlasting / eternal. The most significant similarity between the African God and the Biblical God is the fundamental belief in a deity. Attempting to distill the religious beliefs of about 1 billion people is no small task; especially when these people are at no point static in their beliefs. critical understanding of African worldview, the place of African philosophy and the significance of myths in the reflection of African experience. God gave life to the tortoises and men, but not to the stones. The universe consists of two spheres, the one being visible and the other invisible. God is infinite. Using Readings 5 , 6 and 7 summarize the African understanding of God and his/her characteristics, as well as the set of moral and spiritual values used by Africans to define a genuine human being and a genuine man/woman of God, Part 2. Is their continuity or discontinuity greater, or more significant? Some scholars would even argue that an African understanding is nothing more than an internalised form of Western perspectives. Yoruba, West Africa god of war and iron Olorun Yoruba, West Africa sky god and supreme deity deity. The term ‘ethics’ is technically used by philosophers tomean a philosophical study of morality—morality understood as aset of social rules, principles, norms that guide or are intended toguide the conduct of people in a society, and as beliefs about rightand wrong conduct as well as good or bad character. In attempting to answer this question we will examine their similarities and differences, and then we will consider whether African concepts of God¹ are more similar or dissimilar to the God of the Bible. Return to essay. African mythology Ancient Egyptian. The global God: multicultural evangelical views of God. [web:]. Get the best essays delivered by experienced UK & US essay writers at affordable prices. Also that he continues to speak to all the tribes of Africa who have not heard the Gospel can also not be denied. I have to say that you have exceeded my expectations. Furthermore, due to the nature of the evidence, its scope must be universal; and so we cannot exclude Africans from this knowledge. The Seven African Powers of Creation The Philosophy of Physics, Astronomy & Khemistry unuwubu~ ~, low, So n ~ The Law of Creation ~As above, so it is below~ They say the purpose of creation is for God to increase. The African understanding of morality is based on a cosmological understanding. Supreme God, as with Yahweh in the Old Testament, but instead they became gods in themselves, because these intermediaries re-quested or required cultic worship, ritual and exigencies that are foreign and inadequate in the description and understanding of the angelic intermediaries of the Old Testament. (ix) God is self-existent which means that he is self-made and originated on His own. Using Readings 5 , 6 and 7 summarize the African understanding of God and his/her characteristics, as well as the set of moral and spiritual values used by Africans to define a genuine human being and a genuine man/woman of God Moreover, he is good, eternal and omnipresent. God created the tortoise (turtle), men and stones. Either way, however, the world as we see it today is a direct result of the activities of the Supreme Being and so it is legitimate to say that he created this world. Thus, to have many children who can preserve one's memory is to secure one's immortality. By this I am not suggesting that God has not revealed himself through what is commonly referred to as ‘general revelation’⁴. Christian South Africans thinking in the open about culture, ethics, literature, Scripture and God in our context. Nyirongo (1997: 63) helpfully adds, “The responsibility belongs to those who are physically alive, but more especially to the ancestral spirits who are the custodians of the community”. Click Order now to have a similar paper completed for you by our team of Experts. Thank you for making me trust that you are not a scam. These similarities are seen in the belief in the existence of a personal and spiritual deity who is the almighty creator, and the all-knowing, protecting provider. Eshu: the god of luck, messenger to the gods, and a well-known trickster Oshun : the ever-popular goddess of love Orunmila : the god of intelligence, wisdom, and prophecy In the African traditional religions, ancestors were never considered demonic or as part of evil spirits (2007;383). The first and most intriguing topic that immediately engaged my attention was the thinking of African peoples about God. ¹ Discussions about ancestors, dynamism and spiritism are important but unfortunately fall outside the scope of this essay. The visible/ earth. Traditional African belief is … centre (Introduction to African Religions, 41, 42). The Africans understand the universe to consist of two parts. The works of African scholars for the past three decades have established the fact that Africans have a concept of an universal God and the Creator (Idowu, 1962; Mbiti, 1975). 1975. “So for our understanding of God, it is more the mystery, the greatness of God,” said the theologian of St Augustine College in Johannesburg, the country’s only Catholic university. The Yoruba people of Nigeria, for example, worship a storm god, Shango, who controls thunder and lightning. The most significant similarity between the African God and the Biblical God is the fundamental belief in a deity. TOZER, A.W. This ordering is what is referred to as the hierarchy of beings. ... God in Africa, Cape Cod, MA: Claude Stark. O’Donovan (1995: 41) goes as far as suggesting that “there is probably no native-born African who is not aware of the existence of God”. If we had an infinite and completely comprehensive understanding of God, we, too, would be God, having omniscience. {"cookieName":"wBounce","isAggressive":false,"isSitewide":true,"hesitation":"20","openAnimation":"tada","exitAnimation":"bounceOutUp","timer":"","sensitivity":"","cookieExpire":"30","cookieDomain":"writemyclassessay.com","autoFire":"","isAnalyticsEnabled":true}, Header Button Label: View writing samples. The problem with the African concepts of God is that they go no further than speculation. http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1746, « Worth Hearing: Showbread - Matthias Replaces Judas. In chapter 4, Mbiti’s understanding of God is scrutinized in relation to his methodology, the African concept of time, his understanding of revelation and of salvation. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of Africa.It should be noted that any attempt to generalize about the nature of “African religions” risks wrongly implying that there is homogeneity among all African cultures.In fact, Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. In African-American Christian worship God is known and understood as the One who sides with the weak and oppressed. Grand Rapids, MI : BridgePoint Books. Write my Essay | I need help with my School Assignment, A photo posted by Writemyclassessay (@writemyclassessay). Notice that his argument is built on a fundamental continuity between the biblical God and the African God, and thus it is basically flawed. 1991. Instead, the two go hand and hand and influence a person’s everyday behavior. I have never trusted online activities but this is outstanding!!!! The visible world is creation as we perceive around us. Cape Town, South Africa: Potchefstroom University. He has no physical form and is invisible. MBITI, J. What are the attributes of God according to the African traditional understanding? challenge experienced that has helped prepare some way in a professional provider of health care. This Supreme Being, God, is believed to be the Creator of everything and Sustainer of life. Therefore, we must affirm what is correct in the African conception of deity. By this Africans understand that God is not only kind, but that he does not do wrong. The encounter of Christian faith and African religion. What are the attributes of God according to the African traditional understanding? Moreover, the Supreme Being sustains this world; that in the sense that he keeps everything which he made in existence at every given moment, and in the sense that he is seen to be the one who provides and protects this world³ (Mbiti, 1991: 49, 52). Secondly, Africans have distorted their knowledge of God. 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