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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 6: Evaluation: A Critical Appraisal in the Light of Christian Faith


6. Introduction

The Igbo are religious people and their religiosity involves all aspects of their lives. They are religiously determined and it embraces and integrates their total life and institutions1. Their belief has great influence on them. They lived and still live religiously. “To live religiously, is not merely to live in the presence of certain symbols, but to be involved with them and through them in a quite special way – a way that may lead quite beyond the symbol, that demand the totality of the person’s response and may affect ones relations not only to them but to everything else.”2 Their life is religiously covered and their spirituality is not demarcated from their day to day living. They love their religion and their social life so preciously that they become their second nature. Religion for them is inclusive and not only historic and spiritual, rather the analysis of the contemporary social phenomenon of human being.3 Their religion was rooted in Igboland before the coming of the missionaries. The missionaries’ brought Christian theology, but this is not the universal theology according to the mind of Christ but the theology of the middle age. The theology did not speak on behalf of the situation of the poor and the oppressed which was evident in Africa. It did not denounce slavery and was an accomplice in the international system of the exploitation and colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism. It is certain that majority of churches in Africa still...

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