Yusufu Turaki Foundation and Otakada.org Publishing
Christianity and African Traditional Religion and Worldview
A Theological Method of
Engagement and Interaction with Religions and Worldviews
Revised and Expanded Edition 2019
There are many books that have addressed the subject of this book: “How should Christianity approach the study of the African traditional religions”. Christian scholars with different Christian traditions and backgrounds have propounded many methods. This book is the latest addition to this on-going debate.
The book develops a method of approaching the African traditional religions from an integral Biblical perspective. It stresses the primacy Of the Bible and Biblical revelation as legitimate basis of defining African traditional religions, cultures and worldview. The book argues very strongly that African religion, cultures and worldviews have to be subjected to Biblical authority, definition and teachings, Christianity as a religious system with its sets of beliefs, practices and religious life does not meet an empty traditional African mind, but one, which is already preoccupied with the African traditional religious thought. It is this preoccupied traditional religious and cultural mind which receives, understands, interprets and applies Christianity in Africa. This traditional religious thought is neither dormant nor docile, but has the power of perception, conception, understanding, interpretation and application. When it receives Christianity, it has the capacity and the ability to re-cast and transform it into its own categories of thought and mentalities. Thus, the profound and dominant influence of this traditional religious thought on African Christians must be recognized and taken very seriously.
The nature and the theological basis of the traditional beliefs in (1) gods, (2) divinities and (3) spirits are examined. These beliefs are defined and interpreted In the light of (1) the traditional religious worldview and (2) the Biblical and Christian theology. The theological implications of these traditional beliefs for doing a Biblical and Christian theology in Africa are highlighted. The spiritual phenomenon of the traditional religions is well established. Furthermore, the nature and the theological basis of the traditional beliefs in the mystical, mysterious and unseen powers and forces are also examined. The power phenomenon of the traditional religions is also well established.
The centrality ot man in the traditional religious worldview is also well established and this is addressed from the Biblical and Christian teachings on man. The relevance of the traditional theological, philosophical and moral and ethical foundations and the nature and meaning of man are analysed and examined in the light of the Biblical teachings and Christian theology. The primary objective is to understand the inner logic and workings of the traditional religious thought and its religious beliefs and practices. Religious concepts, perceptions, meanings, realities, behaviour and practices that are derived from this traditional religious system are presented and defined in the light of the Bible and Christian theology.