Religion permeates all aspects of African life and thought. There is no dichotomy between religion and society in Africa. In this course, we will survey some of the indigenous religions of Africa and examine their nature and their philosophical foundations. We will examine African systems of beliefs, myths, symbols, and rituals, as developed by African societies to express their distinctive worldviews. We will also raise some questions about the interrelationship of religion and culture as well as religion and soical change in Africa, and the challenges of modern technologies to African beliefs. We will examine the future of African religions and analyze the extent to which African peoples can hold on to their beliefs in this age of rapid technological and scientific development. Emphasis will be on themes rather than on individual national or tribal religions. Case studies, however, will be limited to West Africa among the Akan of Ghana, the Yoruba of Nigeria, and the Mende of Sierra Leone. Questions are provided (a) to guide and direct reading (b) to form the basis for discussions (c) as exercises and (d) for examinations.
Section 601 - LEC
M 0600PM-0900PM