Article

Traditional African Religious Society

Kofi Asare Opoku

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195137989.003.0052

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Traditional African Religious Society

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African traditional religion is inextricably linked to the culture of the African people. Religion, culture, politics, and society were part of a seamless whole and no part of it could stand on its own. The absence of a specific word for “religion” in many African languages is an indication of this African holistic understanding of life. Words related to the concept of religion may be translated as “custom,” “tradition,” or “way of life.” Later scholars adopted special terms to designate the religious practices and beliefs found in Africa, all of which combined to show that the perspective of the African practitioners of their ancestral religion was not worth considering. As a result, the African religious traditions became synonymous with the idea of “otherness.” This article discusses the traditional religious society of Africa, focusing on the traditional African worldview, social organization and religion, charter myths, religion and public morality, social change, and religious change.

Keywords: Africa; religion; religious society; myths; African worldview; social organization; public morality; social change; religious change; culture

Article.  3364 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations

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