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Spiritual Discourse in the Academy

A Globalized Indigenous Perspective

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Njoki Nathani Wane, Francis Akena Adyanga and Ahmed Ali Ilmi

Spiritual Discourse in the Academy focuses on the value of spirituality as a subjugated knowledge from globalized contexts. The book's central tenet is that spirituality is the core of one's intellectual growth and that its inclusion in education acknowledges the sum total of who we are. It not only offers strategies for transformative education, but also embraces global diversity and inclusive education for the twenty-first century.
The book also provides a detailed examination of spirituality from a global context, acknowledges the detrimental legacies of colonialism on indigenous spirituality, knowledge systems, traditional justice systems, and on indigenous peoples. Spiritual Discourse in the Academy reaches out to educators, scholars, and students who are interested in the multiple roles of spirituality in schooling and society at large. It can be used for teaching courses in spirituality, education, religious studies, and cultural studies.
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Chapter Five: Claiming the Sacred: Indigenous African Spirituality and Schooling

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   CHAPTER FIVE

Claiming the Sacred: Indigenous African Spirituality and Schooling

AHMED ALI ILMI

INTRODUCTION

We cannot speak of being African without acknowledging the role of spirituality in its totality in our lives. Spirituality is at the heart of what it means to be African, both within the Diaspora and on the continent. So much so that one cannot speak of an African identity without affirming the place of spirituality as a social compass for African peoples. African spirituality comprises the philosophical, moral, and social ideals that people uphold to organize their lives. With this statement, I am not trying to make an overarching blanket statement indicating that all Africans are spiritual. But rather, that African people have various spiritual domains that each society draws from to make sense of existence. Each community has its own world views explaining the existence of its people on earth, their relationships to their ecological environment, and their relationships to a greater collective. Spirituality is one of the standing pillars of African societies, together with notions of culture, ancestry, and histories. In her work, “Indigenous Knowledge: Lessons From the Elders—A Kenyan Case Study”, Njoki Wane (2000) pointed out that spiritual ways of living are connected to the natural environment, processes of life, the land, the universe, and to creation. In essence, African spirituality is about the awareness of the wisdoms that connect a being to their community, their environment, and their purpose in life. Moreover, within...

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