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Religion & Theology
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Traditional African Religions (Essay Sample)


The concepts of God Role of the Spirits The dead Sacrifice Prayer

African Traditional Religions versus Christianity
In the past decades, the African religious beliefs were practiced and valued by many Africans (Mbiti 56). However, in the last fifty years, Christianity has become more prominent. Theoretically, West African has the highest population of Africans who still value these traditions. There are several differences between Christianity and the African Religious traditions. In the paper, the differences are categorized in terms of perceptions of God, divinity, the role of the spirit, the dead and sacrifice.
The perception of God
In their belief, the African traditionalists do not consider God to be a man (Thomas 88). However, for them to relay certain perceptions, they employ certain images and languages to aid their conceptualization of him that they do not see. In their religion, God is an “all-day” reality, who participates in all the affairs of their activities (Mbiti 59). Christians on their part believe in one God, who they refer to as Omnipotent.
The Dead
In Christianity, The biblical teaching shows that human beings have only one life on earth. After death, they believe in a single judgment of the soul followed by punishment or the everlasting rest of the soul depending on the deeds on earth. However, many forms of African religions educate on the reincarnation of the spirit into the realms of living (Magesa 68).
Role of the Spirit
In African Traditional Religions, when a person is possessed by the spirit, there were negative consequences that could follow (Walls 79). However, in some cases, the spirit was only acquired to gain “certain wisdom” (Thomas 78). In contrary, the Christians believe that the spirit of God comes to all who believe in Lord Jesus. To them, a spiritual possession was a sign of consideration as sons of God.
African traditional religions bel...
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