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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Problem of God and Sacrifice in African Traditional Religion
Author:Ukpong, Justin S.
Year:1983
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Volume:14
Issue:3
Pages:187-203
Language:English
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:African religions
deities
sacrificial rites
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1594914.pdf
Abstract:Modern attemps to explain why in African (particularly West African) traditional religion sacrifice is not offered to God often use one of two models of God's relationship with man. The first which appeared as early as the 1920s and in more recent times received the patronage of that great scholar of the History of Religions, Mircea Eliade, is the 'Deus otiosus' theory. The second which, to borrow Monday Noah's terminology, the author calls 'the mediumistic theory' became popular in the 1950s through the research on the Nuer by E.E. Evans-Pritchard. The author shows that while the first theory exhibits a basic weakness in failing to recognize God's active involvement in daily human affairs, the second falters in reducing the gods and ancestors to mere medims or channels who may not be entitled to receive veneration from man as of right. Based on an understanding of sacrifice derived from the sacrificial system of the Ibibio, the author points out that these weaknesses are methrodological, arising from an uncritical application of a Judaeo-Christian thought system to understand an African religious fact. - Notes.
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