An analysis of the concept of family and supreme being

For these reasons, his ideas never gained widespread acceptance.

belief in a supreme being

According to van der Leeuw, the supreme being created the world but now remains uninvolved with it in any practical way. Ancient or primary names are those that are generally used by older and elderly members of the communities.

the concept of god in african traditional religion pdf

African myths attempt to justify deities on the grounds that each represents an aspect of the supreme being, and as such they only serve to check human excesses, bring order to chaos, and maintain an ontological equilibrium in the universe, which has been desecrated by human beings.

By postulating that the origins of religion lay in the personification of natural phenomena in the heavens and by hypothesizing about the connection between the sky god and monotheism, he provoked reactions from investigators with theological concerns.

Supreme being in african traditional religion

The names of the supreme being generally reflect the nature of African universe and sociopolitical structure, and they describe the people's perception of their conditioned environment and the polarity of the supreme being. An intrinsic element of such supreme beings is their otiosity, their remoteness. Such is true, on the one hand, with sovereign divinities who ruled the world and, on the other hand, with fecundators and "champion" divinities. The spirit decided to go up far above men and animals, where he is sitting, watching to see who will eat his food. He made another male twin, Nommo, and then created four other spirits from Nommo. Within some nation states there are more than languages, as in Nigeria, within others more than one hundred, as in Tanzania, and within some others more than forty, as in Kenya. When this irregular aspect of worship first came to scholarly attention, it led investigators to undervalue the importance of supreme beings. On Timor, monsoon rains come forth from Usi Neno, a supreme being with strong solar aspects, as a result of the effort he expends in his intercourse with Usi Afu, goddess of the earth. The myth of the creation of the animals that populate the world is a fascinating one. Once the world is fashioned, the function of the creator can only be to prolong its duration and ensure its stability. These were the ancestors of the Dogon. By virtue of his own nature, his power is over all existence. He draws attention to the fact that myth often narrates the withdrawal of a supreme being to remote heights, whence he presides over the larger contours of life, destiny, and the afterlife of the soul, without, however, assuming any dominant role in public cult.

In placing the idea of supreme being in the most recent stages of human history, these theories implied or stated explicitly that the concept of supreme being was introduced into the cultures of Aboriginal Australia, Africa, and Native America by Christianity or Islam.

These were the ancestors of the Dogon.

characteristics african traditional religion

The Xhosa of southern Africa believe that hail falls when Utikxo arms himself for battle. There came a day when he said to himself, "I have all this power, why don't I use it?

Supreme being religion

The doctrine of a supreme being emerged only in the "later stages" of human history after it had been transformed, rationally projected on nature, and developed throughout a stage of ancestral worship and idolatry. The Dogon attributed the creation of everything in the world, including human beings, earth, stars and so on to Amma, the supreme being. He argued convincingly that human history was a more complicated reality. Following Preuss, van der Leeuw also argued that these supreme beings, these high gods, preserved the world order by serving as systematic expressions of the mystical unity on which the conception of the world of everyday experience was grounded. The Pawnee contend that Tirawa Atius "father on high" is in everything. The experience of the infinite made available in the contemplation of these intangible objects numina ultimately gave rise to their designation by name nomina. Upset by the darkness, he creates the moon. The first section of this article presents, in a general way, the power, attributes, and values common to a large number of supreme beings. They woke up the next morning and looked about, but could not see him. The spirit is very knowledgeable, very strict about his rules, and powerful.

In many instances, their activities are expressed in independent mythologies of active supernatural beings who overshadow the remote and transcendent supreme being. Raffaele Pettazzoni It was Raffaele Pettazzoni who proposed that ambivalence is an essential component of the structure of supreme beings.

An analysis of the concept of family and supreme being

The Kurnai use Mungan-ngaua "our father" as the proper name of their supreme being. He then withdrew to the twelfth heaven. Both the ancient and descriptive names of the supreme being, however, express an intrinsic reality of the supreme being. Regardless of the degree of his active participation in creation, once the universe exists a supreme being's major job is done. Although his disciples were very careful to emend or even to reject his historical conclusions about a primordial Archaic Culture and his theological conclusions about a primordial monotheism, they did continue to hold that the investigation of supreme beings outside monotheism constituted a high priority of research. Although a supreme being may be prayed to spontaneously by individuals at any time and in any place, public invocation is often limited to times of calamity when life itself seems threatened. In some sense, cosmogenic and cosmological myths serve the social and political functions in the diverse traditional political groups of African communities, particularly the ways in which different ethnic groups came into existence. In African cosmology, the relationship of the supreme being to human beings is crucial because it has moral implications for human and universal harmony. In the place of simple unilinear development, Schmidt, following the trend of continental historical tradition, proposed the existence of a number of culture circles Kulturkreise , each with distinctive ecological, economic, political, social, and ideological components that developed in relative independence of one another.

As in some Eastern religions, a person who lives a worthy life on earth is accepted into ancestral status, and a person who lives a degenerate life reincarnates into a lesser being such as an animal and plant.

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God: African Supreme Beings