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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 5: The Ethical, Social and Cultural Values in Africa


5. Introduction

There are many ethical as well as social and cultural values in Africa. They have great influence in the lives of the people and have helped to fashion their lives in various ways and forms. They have contributed immensely to their religions and traditions. Oftentimes most people tend to limit ethical, social and cultural values of the Africans to their eating habits, dresses, drum beating and dancing, quaint art work, poverty, living with animals, ritual killings and cannibalism. These are some of the traits and prejudices found in the culture of the people. They are only parts and not the general and some of these have been transformed or overtaken with time. The ethical and the social structures of the Africans are more than these. They are deeper and essential realities in the cultures of the people. The ethical, social and cultural values have worth, dignity and cherished among the people. We have different types of values: “One can talk of social values, religious values, moral values, political values, cultural values, traditional values, philosophical values and scientific values.”1 We have also economic as well as human values. These values help to make the people unique and authentic as regards their identity and culture.

Africans have rich values and they make effort to nurse and nurture them and to hand them over to the generations yet unborn through various means that suit their age. The handing over can be in forms of...

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