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Authenticity of Belief in African (Igbo) Traditional Religion

A Critical Appraisal in the Light of Christian Faith


Aloysius Ndiukwu

The work presents Abrahamic monotheistic religions and the belief of the traditional religions in Africa, especially in Igboland. Religion exists notwithstanding many rots and bad religious behaviours through systematic and atheistic upbringing. It is true that in the history of mankind, different religions have come and gone and many are still in existence and they are religiously or socially formed. The monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have their complementary religious conviction with Igbo religion. They have the image of God as one and only. The authentic carriers of Igbo religion include religious functionaries, the family, and the elders. The religion is culturally, socially and ethically oriented and so the Gospel message of Christ should not neglect them.
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Chapter 2: Abrahamic Monotheistic Religions and their Beliefs


2. Introduction

Monotheism etymologically comes from the Greek monos one, single, alone, and theos God. It literally means one God. Monotheism states that there is only one God.1 It is contrary to polytheism2. Monotheism is the belief which recognizes, professes and venerates one God who is Supreme above all.3 Ansgar Paus sees it “…as a philosophical-theological belief in a one personal transcendental Deity”4 who is Supreme above all. The origin of monotheism could be traced back to the creation of the world by one God. Human being in a desire and search for the source of life and the Supreme Being that controls the world, looks forward to worship God in a unique way. Human being made up of the body and the spirit has to be unified with God at the end of life. In this realization, humanity comes to the knowledge that this Being cannot be subject to death, because He lives above the material world and He is the source of all things. He does not live in time because time is the work of His creation.

In the ancient tradition, God has become so distant, exulted and inaccessible that the spirits and the gods of the pagan pantheon replaced Him. But the search for the Supreme God who created the material world continued so as to explain the mystery and the tragedy of life.5 The God who created the material, as well as the spiritual world lives in the...

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