“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. Indeed, they can go no further because, although humans can pray to the Supreme Being in certain situations (O’Donovan, 1995: 42), he never interacts with, or personally reveals himself to, the people of Africa (Turaki, 1999: 160). Although Christian orthodoxy defines the doctrine of the Trinity, the intellectual tools used to capture it significantly vary. Return to essay, ² There is some argument about whether the Supreme Being created ex nihilo or merely organised some type of existing matter. centre (Introduction to African Religions, 41, 42). How, then, are we to think about the Supreme Being as Christians? Notice that his argument is built on a fundamental continuity between the biblical God and the African God, and thus it is basically flawed. 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. So I read on and on, and conducted field research to learn more and more. From this verse two things are evident. The universe has a specific order of created beings, with God the creator occupying the highest rank. God created the tortoise (turtle), men and stones. Is their continuity or discontinuity greater, or more significant? Key words: Myths, communalistic, african philosophy, earth and God. Human understanding of God is further limited by the finite faculties that man has been created with. Tozer (1994:11) famously suggests that “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us”. It is clear that there is much in common between the biblical view of God and the African concept of the Supreme Being. 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. At different times and in different places, Western Christianity has, for … The African understanding of immortality is tied to remembrance after death. O’DONOVAN, W. 1995. 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. Therefore, Africa has effectively made its own God. We can work on The Impact of Nursing Informatics on Patient Outcomes and Patient Care Efficiencies, We can work on Managerial economics – week 3 assignment – Assignment Help, We can work on A Firm’s Capital Structure, We can work on Teamwork in the Work Place, We can work on University of California Irvine North Korea Nuclear Program Discussion – Assignment Help, Egyptian origin of Monotheism (by Jan Assmann, German Egyptologist). Thank you for making me trust that you are not a scam. ...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. Write My Essay We are the most trusted essay writing service. 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. native-born African is unaware of God’s existence (O’Donovan 1996:41). Traditional African belief is … In this case, so-called "salvation history" must widen its outreach in order to embrace the horizons of other peoples’ histories”. The human person, created in the image and likeness of God, participates in and represents the essential truth and goodness of God. 2nd ed. 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. Very often He “resides” in high unreachable mountains. 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). 6 . African scholars do not present one unified understanding of religion. 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. The universe consists of two spheres, the one being visible and the other invisible. He has no physical form and is invisible. Return to essay, ⁵ It is worth noting that most conceive sin to be originally against the Supreme Being, and that is what plunged the world into its current state (Nyirongo, 1997: 61). 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”. Thank you! ... As above, so it is below. These signify a transcendent, almighty and theophaneous God. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. This ordering is what is referred to as the hierarchy of beings. Noen could have children, and when they became old they did not die but became young again! In many respects he is a pioueer, one of the first to attempt to systematize and analyze, from an insider's perspective, the African understanding of the world in which we live and bow that understanding affects the Africans' view of Christianity. Introduction to African religion. Understood as the such, African Christian theology has been It is a matter of perspective, whether one lays emphasis on the Supreme Being or on the many . God is experienced as an all-pervading reality. The first and most intriguing topic that immediately engaged my attention was the thinking of African peoples about God. Cape Town, South Africa: Potchefstroom University. The tortoise, however, wished to have children, and went to God. Answers (i) God is a Spirit. 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. This is an estimate of how much your order will cost. Biblical Christianity in African perspective. In addition to the belief in deity, the Supreme Being of Africa largely overlaps conceptually with the identity and work of the biblical God. Secondly, the God of the Bible is holy and just. 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 problem with the African concepts of God is that they go no further than speculation. Yoruba, West Africa god of war and iron Olorun Yoruba, West Africa sky god and supreme deity deity. The encounter of Christian faith and African religion. Africans believed in existence of a supreme being who lived in mountains, clouds and the sky. Oxford, United Kingdom: Heinemann Educational Publishers. Although there is much in the Supreme Being which corresponds with the biblical conception of deity, Romans 1:21 argues that this knowledge has been illegitimately expanded and perverted. These basic beliefs are: 1. Return to essay. The Yoruba of Olorun and the Mozambique legend of Nyambi both illustrate which typical African understanding of the High God? These similarities are seen in the belief in the existence of a personal and spiritual deity who is the almighty creator, and the all-knowing, protecting provider. Our aim is to help you get A+ grades on your Coursework. Thus, in this area, we observe a stark contrast between the biblical God and the Supreme Being. In so doing explain the notion of the Egyptian problem and the “Greek miracle.”, Finally explain the most important thing you learned from this assignment and how it helped you achieve the educational goals of our course. Christian South Africans thinking in the open about culture, ethics, literature, Scripture and God in our context. Rather, the Supreme Being commissions other beings in the spiritual hierarchy to undertake these tasks. In African Traditional Religion creator God is distant from man. The African Traditional Religion is now seen as a possible model for interpreting some of the very difficult issues in Christology. By this I am not suggesting that God has not revealed himself through what is commonly referred to as ‘general revelation’⁴. The term ‘ethics’ is technically used by philosophers tomean a philosophical study of morality—morality understood as aset of social rules, principles, norms that guide or are intended toguide the conduct of people in a society, and as beliefs about rightand wrong conduct as well as good or bad character. Is the African concept of God an effective praeparateo evangelica for African Christianity? Using readings 1 to 4 explain African contribution to humanity, to world civilization and world spirituality, and specifically to Judaism, Christianity and the Bible. God gave life to the tortoises and men, but not to the stones. This knowledge of God through belief; became the cardinal point of the religion of Africans. Traditional African belief is … Hands down the best site so far. OLUPONA: If we lose traditional African religions, we would also lose or continue to seriously undermine the African practice of rites of passage such as the much cherished age-grade initiations, which have for so long integrated and bought Africans together under a common understanding, or worldview. God, according to Africans manifests himself in physical phenomena, such as lightning and thunder. We can help. Chapter 3 describes the basic beliefs in African traditional religions, several African ethnic groups’ concepts of God, and the African theologians’ Christianization of the African God by employing Christian theological terms. A.W. Enter your email to calculate the total cost. In Africa, God is viewed in both immanent and transcendent dimensions. God created the tortoise (turtle), men and stones. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. {"cookieName":"wBounce","isAggressive":false,"isSitewide":true,"hesitation":"20","openAnimation":"tada","exitAnimation":"bounceOutUp","timer":"","sensitivity":"","cookieExpire":"30","cookieDomain":"writemyclassessay.com","autoFire":"","isAnalyticsEnabled":true}, Header Button Label: View writing samples. Thus, Gehman (2005: 316) succinctly states that, “God has no body; he is invisible”. It was expressed by wearing various charms and believing in their power and through proverbs, folktales and myths. Instead of positively responding to it in faith, he resorted to idols”. An African understanding of the concept of God as Spirit is common both Christianity and African traditional religion. African Journal of Evangelical Theology, 21(2): 109-126. Its beliefs cannot be separated from a person’s external factors. This very idea of Oneness of the Supreme Being is … “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. God gave life to the tortoises and men, but not to the stones. 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. Very outstanding. Sin in the African worldview is against the community and not against God⁵ (Kato, 1975: 42). In African Traditional Religion creator God is distant from man. (vii) God is All-understanding and knows everything. (vi) He is the creator who created the world and everything in it. MBITI, J. Write my Class essay delivers high quality work and I am happy to be a repeat customer. The gods of Africa or the God of the Bible? Most practitioners of African Traditional Religion have an understanding of a creator God, but this normally refined and broaden when one becomes a Christian. 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”. ... Their history has a theological meaning. In spite of thephilosophical inquiries or analyses undertaken by individualmoralphilosophers regarding morality … I am suggesting, however, that verbal communication and personal relationship with the Supreme Being are not a reality for the African. So the question needs to be posed, “Are there any differences between the God of the Bible and the gods of Africa? 2001. God is infinite. TURAKI, Y. Yet, there are significant similarities at the same time. The difference between the Western and African idea of God may be understood as a difference of names due to languages. Also that he continues to speak to all the tribes of Africa who have not heard the Gospel can also not be denied”. After creation is done, the High god retires with little interest in, or control of, the universe. Furthermore, due to the nature of the evidence, its scope must be universal; and so we cannot exclude Africans from this knowledge. Oneness of God joined its moral vision with the traditional activities, which have opened the way to the triumph of the African traditional religious followers in their expectations of life and spiritual satisfactions. Since the beginning of time the biblical God has revealed himself through communicating verbally with human beings; in fact, he has done so finally through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-4). 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. Our knowledge of God cannot be exhaustive, for the finite is attempting to understand the Infinite who has revealed Himself. Of each he created male and female. 1950. (viii) God is All-present ( Omnipresent). Noen could have children, and when they became old they did not die but became young again! I have to say that you have exceeded my expectations. I have opted to include fewer differences not because there are not many, but because more explanation is required. The most significant similarity between the African God and the Biblical God is the fundamental belief in a deity. 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. In African traditions, religion was integrated in every aspect of life and daily activities. God was the creator of the universe. He does not interfere with man who is the … The Yoruba people of Nigeria, for example, worship a storm god, Shango, who controls thunder and lightning. By this Africans understand that God is not only kind, but that he does not do wrong. Answers (i) God is a Spirit. 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). Will definitely come back again.nCheers!!! 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). & SPENCER, W.D. The Supreme Being is furthermore perceived as being the creator of the world. Yet the Bible cannot conceive of the One True God like that. In contemplating this point Gehman (2005: 320) helpfully states, “Whatever tragedy is experienced is blamed on witchcraft or the living-dead. Explain the attributes of God according to the African traditional understanding. The Christian faith knows and worships one God, who is revealed in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. 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 TOZER, A.W. Explain the attributes of God according to the African traditional understanding. The invisible world is the residing place of God, the ancestors and all the spirits and powers. 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. Carlisle, UK : Paternoster Press. INTRODUCTION Philosophy as a discipline is the reflection of mankind on the ideas and institutions guiding their existence. He has no physical form and is invisible. Thus, to have many children who can preserve one's memory is to secure one's immortality. 1975. ... Mbiti's work inspired numerous studies on God in African religions. 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. 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". Seshat, goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. 1994. Understanding God – Knowing Him Personally Another way of understanding God is to study the life of His Son, Jesus. Yet, these are surface cracks which reveal to us the much greater underlying problem of idolatry. Instead, the two go hand and hand and influence a person’s everyday behavior. 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