relationship between african traditional religion and christianity
It is essentially a postcolonial approach to what AIR and its essential characteristics is: God and humanity, sacrifices, afterlife and ancestors. WORLD RELIGIONS African Traditional Religion Baha’i Faith Buddhism Catholicism & Orthodox Christianity Confucianism Daoism Hinduism Islam Judaism Native American Religions Protestantism Shinto Sikhism Zoroastrianism. Restrictive and Supportive Mechanisms for Female Directors’ Risk-Avers... BMI, Body Perception, and Approach to Eating and Diet in Adolescent Gi... Hi-Fi, Middle Brow? Arinze (1974), in the same vein sees this concept of Chi as a genius or spiritual double. The African traditional In line with this view, Boer (1976) says that the early Christian had bitter conflicts with the authorities that arose over how precisely to confess what the church believes about the person of Jesus Christ. Schon and his associates at the shores of the River Niger. In most parts of Igbo land, ogu is closely connected with ọfọ. Often coercion is used to force Christians to perform the naming rites. He is often distant from humans because of some bad actions of humans. In opposition, Christians do not accept the traditional beliefs of naming ceremonies. Most of these groves house costly masks that were traded by barter for a piece of singlet, sugar, or mirror to the missionaries, which today are displayed for tourist attraction in many European museums. The Christians should rather brace themselves for inculcating the revelation contents of Christianity, namely, existence of one God for all men, reconciliation to the source of reality and brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God. Religion in Igbo traditional society partakes fully of all the features of world traditional religion, including its beliefs, sacred myths, oral qualities, strong appeal to the hearts of adherents, high degree of ritualization, and possession of numerous participatory personages such as officiating elders, kings, priests, and diviners. The Igbo society believes in character and has very strong belief in life after death. Christopher N. Ibenwa is a lecturer in the School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. This work investigates the conflicts existing between the two religions since the introduction of Christianity in Igbo land. Other material wealth such as gold, money, and many other ornaments were buried with dead bodies. Finally, it helped in refining some obnoxious beliefs and practices of the Igbo race. Conflict and violence in Africa in the 21st century: Where is the Afri... Community perceptions and misconceptions of motorcycle accident risks ... What Motivates People to Vote? He hunted and locked up the royal python in his missionary box. View or download all the content the society has access to. The study validates the facts that there is occasional destruction of lives and property and demolition of the people’s artifacts and groves by Christians, and this has led to a reduction in the sources of economic generation of traditional religionists. Influences of Christian Religion on African Traditional Religion And Value System Ibenwa, Christopher Ndubuisi Social Sciences Unit, School of General Studies. (Interfaith Series, Vol. The states are Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom. So, according to Nze Ugwoshie Madu (oral interview, 2015), in situations where a diviner or dibịa (native doctor) was consulted for solutions to family problem to appease the gods, Christian converts in the family insisted that prayer through their priests would be the solution. That action of his worsened his already sour relationship with his father and the people of Umuofia. You can be signed in via any or all of the methods shown below at the same time. Islam and Christianity. Lean Library can solve it. She notes further that “Igbo began to diverge from other related languages, such as Edo and Yoruba 4,600 years ago” (Isichei, 1976, p. 3). So, with the advent of Christianity in 1857, the traditional religion had a serious rival. The beliefs and practices of the traditional religions in Africa can enrich Christian theology and spirituality." Commonalities between Christianity and Africa Traditional Religion Creator God The supreme being in most African Traditional Religions is seen as the creator of humans and all other living things. Hence, it cannot be avoided in the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion. The findings of this study show vividly that the two religions have their strengths and weaknesses. After sometime, a year or more, the second burial would take place with a lot more elaborate ceremonies than the first. The Igbo regard these ancestors as the special guardians of morality and create shrines in their honor, as well as creating symbolic references to their existence. Not only that, they killed and ate this totem animal, they put its head inside match boxes which when picked up and opened by the traditional religionists, they had to offer special sacrifices to cleanse themselves from the abomination because they had seen the head of eke (Royal python). It examines the nature, pattern, rationale for the conflicts. There are shrines erected for the worship of the lesser gods by the traditionalists. What most early Christians in Anambra area did was to kill the eke Idemili (the sacred python belonging to Idemili deity) deliberately and use them as food. Ogu creates an atmosphere for peaceful settlement. . After the naming ceremony, there is Ịgba afa agụ (as it is called by the Obosi, Abattete, Umuoji, and Nkpor people of Idemili-North LGA of Anambra state). Commonalities between Christianity and Africa Traditional Religion By Richard Chowning Creator God. Tradition had it that the fishes were not allowed to be touched or killed, for they were dedicated to the god of the stream, but the Christian converts caught and ate them just to show that the gods of the stream had no powers to harm them, because God created all things for man’s use. Members of Alor-Uno community socially and politically marginalized their brothers in the name of osu caste system. Songs and Dances . These agents were very active in molding the attitude of the converts, especially the young, toward the traditional society. Canon Onuorah Nnamdi (oral interview, 2016), in the Niger Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Anambra State, a brief stopover in the dead wife’s paternal home is an offense punishable by the absence of the priests and church members in the funeral service of the deceased. This eventually results in great discrimination and brings estrangement in their relationship with the traditionalist. Agbaogwugwu people of Enugu state call such reincarnated child agụ m (my rib), whereas it is called ogbo m (myself) in Ngwo and most towns in Eziagu and Udi LGAs of Enugu State, including many other towns (Okposi, Abankeleke, Uburu, etc.) They would insist on the completion of such traditional marriage rites as a sort of punishment to the husband, which ordinarily they would have overlooked. It symbolizes innocence (Uwalaka, 1996). Lying at the core of this worldview is the conception of hierarchy of beings, which comprises five classes according to Ikenga-Metuh, A Supreme Being—Chi ukwu (gods, earth goddess), human beings (Ndịiche), totem animals such as Eke Idemili (the sacred python), tree gods such as Akpụ, Ọjị, and so forth and physical features such as river gods and gods of evil forest. Others refused to embrace the new religion because they thought that the missionaries wanted to destroy their culture. The conflicts continued from the beginning of Jesus ministry until it reached a climax and ultimately led to the crucifixion of Jesus. Immediately after his death, his disciples started to speak against the attitude of the Jews toward the new religion and Stephen was stoned to death. The massive destruction/demolition of shrines and sacred groves is another conflict area. Religion is closely bound up with the traditional way of African life; therefore, religion has shaped the lives of Africans, at the same time life has shaped religion as well. The historical incident peculiar to the child’s birth or to the circumstances of the parents. : (Interfaith Series, Vol. Isichei (1976) observes that, the first human inhabitants of Igbo land must have come from areas further north, possibly from the Niger confluence. It is worthy of note to observe that the High God is not represented in any carved or molded form, is not assigned a shrine. email@example.com Abstract African society is a homogenous and close one with its unique belief systems. At first, the problem which Christianity presented to the traditional religion was not regarded as a serious matter by the people because conversion to Christianity at the initial stage was not an easy task because Christianity was a new religion and something brought to Igbo nation by European missionaries: Rev. Diviners and medicine men reported that the divinities were angry because of the new religion and warned that nobody should join the missionaries. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses. Ùá1ƒã«Ÿ"ì7$XøŒ˜Ô9Xª×í˜ÄÑğ�yÃöyy…¶b GNpLàÿÀæÀĞ°ª!‡9€áƒ€èŞ†¼I&¦mŒxo0+È+ğ4°4ÕÌc¹ÂÀº�ÍAì@5c. One must then assert that the relationship between Christianity and the Igbo/African cultures should not be seen as one of “either - or” but one of “both - and”, at least to a greater degree than it is now. Christians believe in the life on earth now and then the eschatological kingdom that is yet to come. It is important to note that the Osu caste system officially, has been abolished by the Eastern House of Assembly. : (Interfaith Series, Vol. Presently, according to Rev. In Anambra state (one of the major Igbo states in Nigeria), eke (the royal python) is regarded as a totem and nobody can deliberately kill it without incurring the ostracism of the people. Just as in the recent times, the early Christian church had conflicts with religions and cultures that do not share same doctrines with it. The Jews had no room for compromise with any new ideology, which tended to deviate from the Law of Moses or the traditions of the elders. The aim of the study is to investigate the conflicts existing between the two religions since the introduction of Christianity in Igbo land, the nature, the pattern, and the rationale of the conflicts. Nwozuzu (2008) groups the Igbo dialect into eight major dialect groups: Igbo religion is traditional according to Mbiti (1970), in the sense that it is rooted in their culture. This bitter conflict has led to wanton destruction of lives and property, and this has become a source of great worry to the writers. Since Christianity came in contact with the traditional religion, there has always been a sharp conflict between traditionalists and Christians. He also translated Animal Farm into the Igbo language. According to Ilogu (1974), three factors usually determine the name given to a child. Sometimes, according to Mr. Iweobi, Sunday (oral interview, 2013), it might be that the deceased was maltreated, and his in-laws would not let go. Ikenga is usually owned by every adult male who has attained manhood. The ordinary ogu and ọfọ have psychological effect and work on the conscience of every Igbo man and woman. He holds a PhD in religion and society, plus 19 years of teaching experience as a lecturer in University of Nigeria, Nsukka. This destiny can be written on his palm and palmists can interpret this destiny (Ikenga-Metuh, 1972). For instance, after performing the full traditional marriage rites, the church wedding will follow. In the ancient Roman Empire, this also happened between Christianity and pagan religion of the Romans. They are Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, and Abia. Nwankiti (1975) argues that the origins of Christian missionary work in Nigeria antedated the Egba (Abeokuta enterprise). It arrived in Igbo land in 1857. It is made of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit working together as one. Sign in here to access free tools such as favourites and alerts, or to access personal subscriptions, If you have access to journal content via a university, library or employer, sign in here, Research off-campus without worrying about access issues. Before the advent of Christianity, the medicine men in Igbo nation acted as counselors. Traditional religion was very much based on fear of the unknown and unending sacrifices, including human sacrifices, to appease the. .” According to Sir Ogbonna Emmanuel (oral interview, 2016), the issue of free born and osu led to a bloody communal clash in Alor-Uno in Nsukka LGA of Enugu State in 2016. Hence, this book raises such crucial questions as: How… : (Interfaith Series, Vol. It is also a taboo for a free born (nwa afọ), to sleep under the same roof with an osu. African Traditional Religion, Islam, and Christianity in Nigeria. The personal god, chi, is what they call the guardian deity deputizing for Chukwu. Based on this Christian belief, new converts no longer partake in traditional family festivals and thanksgiving. Book Condition: New. The ancestor becomes the tutelary spirit of the child and sees to the well-being of the child. . And, one of the major reasons of having many children according to Mr. Enem Ignatius (oral interview, 2015) is to have enough labor for farming, which is their major occupation. The ancestors, the Igbo believe, wield tremendous powers of blessings and power of curse. This supreme being is viewed in different forms and dwelling places, yet he is the almighty. If the second burial was not performed, according to Mr. Enem, Ignatius (oral interview, 2015), the proper inheritance of the late father’s property could not be finally settled (the above practice according to him is still in existence in some Igbo communities such as Iwolo, Nenwe and Nkanu in Enugu State, Ohaozaro, and Abiriba in Abia State). Some society journals require you to create a personal profile, then activate your society account, You are adding the following journals to your email alerts, Did you struggle to get access to this article? Christians were opposed to almost all the methods, which the traditionalists used when they were ill, or when they got misfortune and suffering. Also, in some parts of Igbo land, some towns such as Ngor-Okpala in Imo state, Umuahia in Abia State, and many towns in Anambra State, when someone’s wife dies, her corpse must be carried to her father’s people before the first burial or a symbol of such corpse at the second burial ceremony will be carried to the husband’s family. FundingThe author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. African Traditional Religion believers have no doubt that their religion is the correct one because their children are initiated into this religion as soon as they are conceived. He not only bought his freedom but also went ahead to found the Opobo Kingdom where he became the king. Conflict is a universal phenomenon that is inevitable in human interaction. Ii), Together as One: Interfaith Relationships Between African Traditional Religion, Islam, and Christianity in Nigeria., Hyacinth Kalu, Iuniverse. Christianity and the Igbo/African culture are compatible … They also acted as priests and prayed for their communities. They argue that the Christian marriage and many Christian families are failures in traditional marriage life, going by the number of Christian divorces prevalent now. The Nigerian religious landscape is characterized by series of violence leading to bloodshed, loss of thousands of life and property worth billions of Naira. From the above, we can see that the indigenous Igbo man still holds tenaciously to the cult of Ala, and the entire spirit world is believed to have its abode under the physical earth on which the people live and derive their sustenance. But how far is the ideal Christian marriage as revealed by God separable from the traditional marriage? Moreover, the moral conflict (which, in some cases, had been the result of clash in conscience experienced by individual Christians between the tenets of Christianity and those of the traditional religion) was not the official support given by Christian authorities against the traditional religion and its followers, but was purely the effect of a clash in religious beliefs, which naturally existed between the adherents of the traditional religion and those of the Christian faith in Igbo nation. Even to date, most Christian converts are not courageous enough to put their Christian belief into practice in the equality of human beings, by marrying an Osu or Ohu, for they know that the person and his family will be ostracized by all his kindred, who ironically are more of Christians. The qualitative method enabled the researchers to make valid deductions from the secondary data, whereas the comparative method helped to make counterfactual analysis of both the secondary and primary data sources as they relate to the traditional and Christian ethos. Igbo traditional worldview reveals that the journey that man makes in a lifetime and after his death is cyclical. The historical origin of the Igbo is not yet certain because of the different views by historians and archeologists. Diviners are consulted to find out the cause of death. 80th inaugural lecture, University of Nigeria, Department of Linguistics, Igbo and Other Nigerian Languages, University of Nigeria, The environmental, peace and conflict in Nigeria, 84th inaugural lecture, University of Nigeria, Paper presented at the 21st annual conference of the Nigeria association for the study of religion (NASR), held at the University of Nigeria. Igbo people can be seen in some parts of other states. Login failed. Also in some parts of Igbo land such as Njaba LGA of Imo state, Udi and Nsukka areas of Enugu state, Awka, Nkpor, Ogidi, Aguleri, an so forth, all in Anambra state, the early Christian converts not only went out regularly to convert their heathen neighbors to Christianity but also showed their contempt for the traditional taboos: for example, eating the forbidden fish from certain streams in the towns. Despite these reasons and threats, Christianity began to win converts in Igbo land. The Igbo language of course is the language spoken in Nigeria by people who are located predominantly in the southeastern part of Nigeria. Churches and schools were built and youths and children were made to attend schools. Conflict is a universal phenomenon that is inevitable in human interaction. The Igbo believe in the Supreme Being, who is the controller of the world and all that are in the world. In more generalized sense, this deity is believed to be ubiquitous and invisible. But in the present-day Igbo nation, ohu, in some Igbo states have their freedom but for osu, it is not yet fully practiced. He is said to have his abode above the sky (see Phil-Eze, 2009, and http://www.culturalnormsofIgbos.religion.ac). The church authorities should sermonize and try as much as possible to encourage the adherents of traditional religion to drop those obnoxious practices that make their religion look evil. And, the traditional religionists believe that this burial rite helps the spirit of the dead person reach the spirit world, join his ancestors, and enable him or her to reincarnate. Again African Traditional is a little different because it is a natural religion. They thought that they could violate with impunity, the sanctions of the traditional religion. This explains why nsọ ala (abomination against Ala) is dreaded because it has severe repercussions. Christianity in Africa and in most parts of Africa (even in India) was a precursor of colonisation. The interview schedule specifically targeted people with rich knowledge of the issue under investigation. II) By Hyacinth Kalu iUniverse, United States, 2011. The villagers of the different Igbo communities think that diseases were cured by these doctors with drugs and not by any ritual ceremony as they believed. The Igbo society is not an exception. Most of them, half educated and in many cases utterly misguided, contributed significantly to open disrespect for and disregard of the society’s time-honored customs and religious practices. : (Interfaith Series, Vol. . religion of these natives is their existence and existence is their religion. Christianity was successfully planted on September 24, 1842, in Nigeria by Rev. SAGE Publications Inc, unless otherwise noted. She is responsible for public morality and offenses against the law are against Ala. From the above conflicts, we can see that although Christianity has made some impact on Igbo people, it has not totally changed their worldview.