Showing posts with label RELIGIONS OF AFRICA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RELIGIONS OF AFRICA. Show all posts

Pagan Religions - Terms And Concepts - RELIGIONS OF AFRICA

In the sense that they acknowledge one High God as the creator of all things and the source of whatever order exists in the universe, all African religions are monotheistic. 

  • Many African faiths are polytheistic, meaning that a vast number of gods, spirits, or ancestors divide man from his creator. 

  • They are tribal religions in the sense that tribal beliefs mirror the social structure. 
  • All African faiths include prayer, which is likely to emphasize innocence of any bad purpose and prayers for good health and well-being. 
  • Sacrifices, typically of goats or chickens, are meant to create connection between man and god rather than to purify. 
  • The sacredness of all life is paramount throughout the continent. 
  • In African culture, ritual is very significant. 

Religion is seen as a collection of objectives, a framework combining man and god, and a series of rituals for attaining particular objectives. 

  • Religious rituals commemorate christenings, marriages, funerals, initiations, the seasons, and associated events like planting, harvesting, rainmaking, hunting, fishing, crime and punishment, and war and peace. 

  • There are no complex, unifying and deep systems of religious theories or theologies that have evolved organically across the history and geography of Africa, and there are no idols or priests representing such social structures(with a few exceptions). 

  • Many Africans turn to witch doctors, magic, superstition, tabus, and fetishes or charms in order to deal with life's challenges. 

Despite variations in language, cultural level, and political development, large numbers of Negroes, Bantus, Hottentots, and Bushmen believe in spirits or ghosts and practice primitive animism. 

  • The ultimate deity is said to have created the universe without concern for good or evil, then withdrew from it, leaving its functioning to spiritual energy provided by human endeavor. 
  • The extent of his retreat varies per tribe, but the system he built is said to be flawless mechanically or biologically. 
  • Man is linked to his creator through ancestral spirits and godlings who symbolize various elements of the supreme god. 

Human greed or a trickster who perverts all the laws allow evil to infiltrate the flawless system. 

  • In the absence of selfishness, only a trickster, or destiny, as he is sometimes known, can explain catastrophe. 

  • When catastrophe occurs, a diviner may be able to discover the device that caused it or identify the perpetrator—a neglected spirit punishing a descendent for the group's sins or a witch releasing her enmity. 

The ritual that must be done to rectify a misfortune is revealed via divination. 

  • Every ritual entails the establishment of contact between the world of men and the realm of spirits. 

  • Most rituals involve sacrifice and prayer as the two major components, although minor parts may include magical gestures, unique tools, and unusual clothing.

You may also want to refer to my Comprehensive list of World Pagan Religious Terms And Concepts.

You may also want to read more about Paganism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on Religion here.