Reaction Paper to Azevedo: Religion in Africa - Essay Example

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It does not matter what religion one is affiliated with, the fact still remains the message is the same. People dwell on issues surrounding religion to find out which one is better; some even…
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Reaction Paper to Azevedo: Religion in Africa
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Reaction Paper to Azevedo: Religion in Africa Synopsis Religion plays an intricate role in the co-existence of people in the world, today. It does not matter what religion one is affiliated with, the fact still remains the message is the same. People dwell on issues surrounding religion to find out which one is better; some even commit murder in the name of religion. However, it is such issues that religion seeks to address. People should stay together in harmony believing in a Supreme Being, regardless of which name He goes by, and which Holy Book to believe. This paper will examine religion in the African setting, and its evolution through time.
Question 2
During the pre-colonial period, Africans used their traditional methods of worship. However, the coming of the Portuguese to most parts of the African continent encouraged the acceptance of Christianity (Azevedo 406). They advocated for the acceptance of Christianity as a way of life. Another reason why Christianity spread more wildly was the effect of colonization. Missionaries could access the most remote areas in Africa which helped convert a large number of Africans (Azevedo 405). Lastly, the impact Christianity had on education and health was immense (Azevedo 406). This made it easy to accept Christianity in Africa. This element was appealing to the African people, thus leading them to accept the spread of Christianity.
Islam, on the other hand, came about as a result of some personal reasons. People wanted a religion that would make them have a common identity. For all the heterogeneous individuals, this seemed like the perfect religion to follow. Political instability also played a part in the acceptance of Islam. People needed to be affiliated with Islam for fear of persecution. Many African/Arab nations needed to have a base for social and political organization (Azevedo 413). This is one element that made Islam particularly attractive, and popular in today’s world.
Question 3
There were some shortcomings of the Christian religion in the colonial period. One of them was the missionaries little attempt to train African clergy (Azevedo 406). Another problem they faced was racism. The institution’s racist attitude made it hard for missionaries to connect with the Africans on a personal level. The biggest problem was the perception Africans had about the Church. They believed that the Church was in Cahoots with colonial authorities (Azevedo 407). This made it even harder for the Church to spread the religion.
These issues are disappearing in today’s Church. The Church is becoming more action-oriented. This implies that they are striving to preserve some of the cultural elements of African traditions, which are not condemned by the Gospel (Azevedo 408). Racism is also something of the past in some areas. In today’s churches, high positions are held by Africans. At some point, there was the possibility of the pope heading the Catholic Church (Azevedo 409).
Question 4
Saint Augustine was a theologian with different ways of looking at things, and views about things. He was ordained a priest and later a cardinal in Africa after his time in Rome and Milan. He is famous for wrestling with the mystery surrounding the Holy Trinity (Azevedo 404). His theory on the Trinity was that it was about self-awareness. He insinuated that understanding the Trinity would enable man see themselves as made in God’s image. He died in the year 430, and his works significantly influenced the likes of Luther.
Origen was born in 186 and educated on Christian scriptures at a tender age. His father was beheaded during religious persecutions. He supported his family after taking a teaching job. During his service to Christianity, he wrote books about living a Christian life. He encouraged people to live a Christian life despite the prosecutions that were rampant at the time.
Tertullian laid down the foundation of the Christian religion. He converted to Christianity as he was attracted to how martyrs lived. His works focused on Christian living and defended the Christian faith. He founded a church based on some of the beliefs he had, which made him famous among other African theologians.
Work Cited
Azevedo, Mario. Africana Studies: Religion in Africa. London: Macmillan Publishers, 2005. Print. Read More
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