Quick feedback and perfect papers. After creation is done, the High god retires with little interest in, or control of, the universe. These basic beliefs are: 1. God was at the top of African … 1991. These similarities extend over both the character and the work of each deity. The Doctrine of God in African Christian Thought. Very often He “resides” in high unreachable mountains. There are two major differences between the God of the Bible and the African concepts of God, which I will discuss. challenge experienced that has helped prepare some way in a professional provider of health care. Return to essay, ³ However, the dual activities of providing and protecting are not undertaken directly by the Supreme Being. The fundamental problem with constructing an African religious cosmology is to understand how the one god and the many gods or lesser deities can co-exist in the African context. [web:]. That is the law of creation. The Yoruba people of Nigeria, for example, worship a storm god, Shango, who controls thunder and lightning. These five basic beliefs that make up the African traditional religion are corroborated by the work of Vincent Okungu, who argued that a slight difference might be observed in these component elements with different people groups in Africa to demonstrate the peoples’ understanding of God in their locality. Thus, in this area, we observe a stark contrast between the biblical God and the Supreme Being. NYIRONGO, L. 1997. Human understanding of God is further limited by the finite faculties that man has been created with. Our aim is to help you get A+ grades on your Coursework. In light of the above it seems that we should affirm the similarities between the biblical God and the African God. Rather, the Supreme Being commissions other beings in the spiritual hierarchy to undertake these tasks. Idowu calls the Yoruba religion “diffused” monotheism. Grand Rapids, MI : BridgePoint Books. In contemplating this point Gehman (2005: 320) helpfully states, “Whatever tragedy is experienced is blamed on witchcraft or the living-dead. Is their continuity or discontinuity greater, or more significant? Moreover, the Supreme Being sustains this world; that in the sense that he keeps everything which he made in existence at every given moment, and in the sense that he is seen to be the one who provides and protects this world³ (Mbiti, 1991: 49, 52). Describe the African concept of his/her religion b. Noen could have children, and when they became old they did not die but became young again! The difference between the Western and African idea of God may be understood as a difference of names due to languages. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of Africa.It should be noted that any attempt to generalize about the nature of “African religions” risks wrongly implying that there is homogeneity among all African cultures.In fact, Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. If we had an infinite and completely comprehensive understanding of God, we, too, would be God, having omniscience. The South African reimaging of God revolved around ridding themselves of the patriarchal model that supports the hierarchy, domination, and sexism of their experience under apartheid. African mythology covers a vast area. A.W. We handle assignments in a multiplicity of subject areas including Admission Essays, General Essays, Case Studies, Coursework, Dissertations, Editing, Research Papers, and Research proposals, A photo posted by Writemyclassessay (@writemyclassessay) on Oct 13, 2016 at 11:26pm PDT, We handle papers in a multiplicity of subject areas including Admission Essays, General Essays, Case Studies, Coursework, Dissertations, Editing, Research Papers, and Research proposals. (ix) God is self-existent which means that he is self-made and originated on His own. Tozer (1994:11) famously suggests that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us”. Supreme God, as with Yahweh in the Old Testament, but instead they became gods in themselves, because these intermediaries re-quested or required cultic worship, ritual and exigencies that are foreign and inadequate in the description and understanding of the angelic intermediaries of the Old Testament. God is experienced as an all-pervading reality. Eshu: the god of luck, messenger to the gods, and a well-known trickster Oshun : the ever-popular goddess of love Orunmila : the god of intelligence, wisdom, and prophecy vehicle for Christian missionary work and the authority for Christological understanding and interpretation, Africa has become a very fascinating region due to its growing Christian populations. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. The invisible/ sky which is regarded as the home of God. Instead, they address lesser gods, many of whom have distinct functions. Yoruba, West Africa god of war and iron Olorun Yoruba, West Africa sky god and supreme deity deity. Christianity and African gods: a method in theology. The term for God in many African traditions is identified with the terms for sky, thunder, rainfall, lightening etc. Key words: Myths, communalistic, african philosophy, earth and God. sense, African Christian theology is the understanding, presentation and concrete interpretation of the Christian faith in accordance with the needs, aspirations, thought-forms and mentality of the people of the black continent. African mythology Ancient Egyptian. In African Traditional Religion creator God is distant from man. God created the tortoise (turtle), men and stones. ...The problem is not that God did not speak clearly to the African in the past: the problem is rather what the African did with the revelation he received from God. Atheistic tendencies in Africa are minimal. LESSON ONE: AFRICAN CONCEPT OF GOD, SPIRITS AND ANCESTORS Learning outcomes. In light of the two points above, there do seem to be major differences between the African conception of the Supreme Being and the Christian conception of God. Therefore we clearly see that it is not the Supreme Being who is offended by these social ills. African mythology covers a vast area. KATO, B. African mythology permeates Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Niger, Ghana, Gambia, and it has been transported through slavery to Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, Guyana, Haiti and other South American and Caribbean countries. At a pilgrimage prayer service dedicated to the “God Beyond all Names”, Dr Nontando Hadebe reflected that in most African languages there are no pronouns. He has no physical form and is invisible. Firstly, the God of the Bible is different to the African gods in that he is knowable and relational. The Supreme Being is likewise good (Mbiti, 1991: 55). Oxford, United Kingdom: Heinemann Educational Publishers. critical understanding of African worldview, the place of African philosophy and the significance of myths in the reflection of African experience. It is a matter of perspective, whether one lays emphasis on the Supreme Being or on the many . INTRODUCTION Philosophy as a discipline is the reflection of mankind on the ideas and institutions guiding their existence. “So for our understanding of God, it is more the mystery, the greatness of God,” said the theologian of St Augustine College in Johannesburg, the country’s only Catholic university. ¹ Discussions about ancestors, dynamism and spiritism are important but unfortunately fall outside the scope of this essay. The human person, created in the image and likeness of God, participates in and represents the essential truth and goodness of God. Rather, it seems that there is less of a chasm between God and the other spirit beings, and that the category used to understand the remoteness of the Supreme Being is not transcendence but differing communal responsibilities (Turaki, 1999: 156). This personhood is not seen to be manifested physically, but to exist spiritually. Seshat, goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. Click Order now to have a similar paper completed for you by our team of Experts. He does not interfere with man who is the … Our knowledge of God cannot be exhaustive, for the finite is attempting to understand the Infinite who has revealed Himself. African scholars do not present one unified understanding of religion. Noen could have children, and when they became old they did not die but became young again! Answers (i) God is a Spirit. Biblical Christianity in African perspective. The African belief in one Creator God on the one hand, and lesser gods on the other hand, raises the question of whether African Traditional Religion should be termed monotheistic or polytheistic. Also that he continues to speak to all the tribes of Africa who have not heard the Gospel can also not be denied”. In reflecting on the world without God’s word, Romans 1:21 says that “although [people] knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened”. (v) God is a provider, giver of life and provider of His creation. Traditional African belief is … Consequently, the family model has very enriching theocentric, trinitarian, christological, sacramental, ecclesiogenetic, pastoral, and communitarian imcations to the life and mission of the Church in Africa during the third millennium. As a result, it is the community who is most offended, by these social ills, and it is they who take the responsibility to discipline the offender. God gave life to the tortoises and men, but not to the stones. Firstly, Africans do know something about God. He does not do anything more for people. Yet, at the same time it must always be maintained that this is fundamentally a different God due to Africa’s distortion of general revelation. We can help. For Blacks, a God who does not care does not count, and they believe that the sovereign God continues to intervene in history in very concrete ways on their behalf. native-born African is unaware of God’s existence (O’Donovan 1996:41). 2nd ed. For example, farming activities involved God, spirits and ancestors. The most significant similarity between the African God and the Biblical God is the fundamental belief in a deity. These signify a transcendent, almighty and theophaneous God. 1950. Attributes of God (Supreme Being) in Africa: Attributes of God refers to words or phrases ascribing traits, properties, qualities or characteristics to the Have you completed your assignment? Of each he created male and female. INTRODUCTION Philosophy as a discipline is the reflection of mankind on the ideas and institutions guiding their existence. Byang Kato (1985: 32) states this point with great clarity when he says, “Whatever rationalization we may try to make, the worship of gods in Africa is idolatry”⁶. Therefore, we need to be aware of this idolatry and proclaim with great boldness the God of the Bible throughout Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Potchefstroom University. Introduction to African religion. Here is a 20% discount for our Academic Research Writing service. It gave me a good opportunity to prepare well for exams. ... Mbiti's work inspired numerous studies on God in African religions. What are the attributes of God according to the African traditional understanding? "African Religions and Philosophy" is a systematic study of the attitudes of mind and belief that have evolved in the many societies of Africa. Biblical Christianity in Africa: a collection of papers and addresses. GEHMAN, R.J. African traditional religion in biblical perspective. O’Donovan (1995: 41) goes as far as suggesting that “there is probably no native-born African who is not aware of the existence of God”. Some scholars would even argue that an African understanding is nothing more than an internalised form of Western perspectives. The problem with the African concepts of God is that they go no further than speculation. 2nd ed. In this second edition, Dr Mbiti has updated his material to include the involvement of women in religion, and the potential unity to be found in what was once thought to be a mass of quite separate religions. This chapter concludes that it is not possible to presume a homogenous or one unified concept of God in Africa. Write my Essay | I need help with my School Assignment, A photo posted by Writemyclassessay (@writemyclassessay). Indeed, God promises that he is judging sin now (Romans 1:24) and will do so in a more comprehensive way in the future (2 Peter 3:7). Thank you! From these two beliefs it naturally follows that the Supreme Being is seen as almighty; for he has the power to do anything he desires (O’Donovan, 1995: 41). Instead, the two go hand and hand and influence a person’s everyday behavior. Indeed, we must affirm that the Bible is correct when it asserts that God’s divinity and power have been plain since the creation of the world (Romans 1:19-20). This entry is intended to make some contribution to the understanding of African ethical thinking. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. Write My Essay We are the most trusted essay writing service. God is infinite. Traditional African belief is … The traditional African understanding and the interpretation of Christianity have deep roots in these fundamental beliefs of the African traditional religions. Our knowledge of God cannot be exhaustive, for the finite is attempting to understand the Infinite who has revealed Himself. http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1746, « Worth Hearing: Showbread - Matthias Replaces Judas. 6 . London: Edinburgh House press. The gods of Africa or the God of the Bible? Return to essay, ² There is some argument about whether the Supreme Being created ex nihilo or merely organised some type of existing matter. Understanding God – Knowing Him Personally Another way of understanding God is to study the life of His Son, Jesus. KATO, B. These five basic beliefs that make up the African traditional religion are corroborated by the work of Vincent Okungu, who argued that a slight difference might be observed in these component elements with different people groups in Africa to demonstrate the peoples’ understanding of God in their locality. Although Christian orthodoxy defines the doctrine of the Trinity, the intellectual tools used to capture it significantly vary. African peoples do not consider God to be a man, but in order to express certain concepts, they employ languages and images about God as an aid to their conceptualization of him whom they have not seen and about whom they confess to know little or nothing. The invisible world is the residing place of God, the ancestors and all the spirits and powers. Neith, goddess sometimes associated with wisdom; Thoth, originally a moon deity, later became the god of knowledge and wisdom and the scribe of the gods; Sia, the deification of wisdom; Isis, goddess of wisdom, magic and kingship.She was said to be "more clever than a million gods". (vi) He is the creator who created the world and everything in it. “In West Africa,” said Parrinder, “men believe in great pantheons of gods which are as diverse as the gods of the Greeks or the Hindus. In addition to the belief in deity, the Supreme Being of Africa largely overlaps conceptually with the identity and work of the biblical God. Enter your email to calculate the total cost. MBITI, J. I believe this assertion to be correct and so the question, “How do African concepts of God relate to the God of the Bible?” is most worthy of our consideration. The Africans understand the universe to consist of two parts. The knowledge of the holy. Sin in the African worldview is against the community and not against God⁵ (Kato, 1975: 42). God has not left himself without a witness in Africa; no, he has clearly spoken through what has been made. African theology: its history, dynamics, scope and future. Therefore, Africa has effectively made its own God. 1975. (ii) God is everlasting / eternal. 'The Afri-can attitude to God is perhaps understood least' (Sawyer, 1970, p. ix). This is an estimate of how much your order will cost. Write my Class essay delivers high quality work and I am happy to be a repeat customer. Theological pitfalls in Africa. The tortoise, however, wished to have children, and went to God. I have never trusted online activities but this is outstanding!!!! Either way, however, the world as we see it today is a direct result of the activities of the Supreme Being and so it is legitimate to say that he created this world. The African continent includes so many countries, regions, languages, tribes, cultures and crossovers that the sheer diversity of prevailing Gods would seem overwhelming if there weren’t a few handy shortcuts. The African understanding of morality is based on a cosmological understanding. The entry makes the African moral language its point of departure, for the language of morality gives insight into the moral thinking or ideas of the society. In the African traditional religions, ancestors were never considered demonic or as part of evil spirits (2007;383). 1994. Using Readings 5 , 6 and 7 summarize the African understanding of God and his/her characteristics, as well as the set of moral and spiritual values used by Africans to define a genuine human being and a genuine man/woman of God, Part 2. Explain the attributes of God according to the African traditional understanding. Most Africans are in agreement that the traditional Africans do not actively worship this Supreme Being. The biblical God says that sin is against him personally (Psalm 51:4), and causes him great offense (Hosea 9:15). Part 1. How, then, are we to think about the Supreme Being as Christians? ... Their history has a theological meaning. Human understanding of God is further limited by the finite faculties that man has been created with. I have opted to include fewer differences not because there are not many, but because more explanation is required. 2nd ed. Return to essay. The Supreme Being is personal in the sense of possessing personhood; therefore deity is referred to as a ‘He’ and not as an ‘it’ or a ‘power’ (Gehman, 2005: 319). Monotheism’s insistence on the Thus, Gehman (2005: 316) succinctly states that, “God has no body; he is invisible”. In this communication he has told people what he is like and he has offered them the possibility of relationship. Also that he continues to speak to all the tribes of Africa who have not heard the Gospel can also not be denied. Of each he created male and female. I have opted to not include the concept of transcendence under similarities for I believe it to be an area where African theologians have fundamentally misrepresented African religion, by “‘baptising’ the data in order to project a traditional religion that is compatible with Christianity” (Bowers, 2002: 118). These are vital questions which we shall now consider. God created the tortoise (turtle), men and stones. The critical understanding of God in Zinza tribe: Perception of Waha on God, Mode of worship, Position of women in worship, Weakness of their worship and Criticisms on worship. Taking elements from the known African intellectual framework, this book argues that for African Christians, the respective pre-Christian African understanding of God and the Ntu-metaphysics, in particular, function as conceptual gates for an attempt towards articulating the Trinity for African Christian audiences. Moreover, he is good, eternal and omnipresent. Thus everything in the spiritual, and the physical, world is the way it is today as a direct result of his action² (Kato, 1975: 31). African turn to God when in trouble and seeking peace, happiness, and security. Secondly, the God of the Bible is holy and just. Yet the Bible cannot conceive of the One True God like that. An African understanding of the concept of God as Spirit is common both Christianity and African traditional religion. 2001. BOWERS, P. 2002. The African continent includes so many countries, regions, languages, tribes, cultures and crossovers that the sheer diversity of prevailing Gods would seem overwhelming if there weren’t a few handy shortcuts. 1980. From this verse two things are evident. I recommend this source. In chapter 4, Mbiti’s understanding of God is scrutinized in relation to his methodology, the African concept of time, his understanding of revelation and of salvation. 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