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African Communitarian Ethic: The Basis for the Moral Conscience and Autonomy of the Individual

Igbo Culture as a Case Study


Ferdinand Chukwuagozie Ezekwonna

One of the controversial issues in theology in the contemporary, modern world is the issue of moral autonomy. Who determines what is moral and ethical? What part do the individual and the community respectively play in this regard? In this book the author explores and analyses the position of the individual in an African community. This research aims to be a pointer to other ethical, political and social systems in the world to dialogue with African ethics. On the one hand, the author proposes to the Western world, which is becoming more and more individualistic and is trying to get rid of old traditional values, to review some of its present ethics and cultural values. On the other hand, he suggests to the African world to re-examine its present cultural practices, to reconsider and appreciate some good cultural values handed down to them by their ancestors and also to take cognisance of the emerging world ethical realities.
Contents: The community and the individual: The three dimensions of African community - The African concept of the human person - The processes and ways of attaining full personhood in Africa (initiation rites) and the finding of norms – Communal decisions and individual moral autonomy and conscience: The concept of autonomy and freedom in Africa - The African concept of conscience - The consequences of Western global ethics - Steps towards Western-African ethical dialogue.