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Revitalization & Tradition and Continuity & Perseverance and Transmutation - Essay Example

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Once this religion was considered to be primitive and associated with paganism however today a lot of its importance has been…
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Revitalization & Tradition and Continuity & Perseverance and Transmutation
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RELIGIOUS STUDIES College Just like Christianity and other religions in the world, African traditional religion is now being recognized by western scholars and theologians. Once this religion was considered to be primitive and associated with paganism however today a lot of its importance has been realized and in this essay we will take a look at some of the ways in which various religious acts occur in African traditional religion. The acts include revitalization, tradition and continuity and perseverance and transmutation (Olupọna, 1991).
In African traditional religions revitalization is a very important aspect. Most religion see rebirth as a full membership to the religion. Rebirth can be done in so many ways; the first way is through initiation. When one undergoes some traditional methods of initiation he is considered to be mature and so moves from being a junior member of the religion to a senior member of the religion. By so doing the person is seen to have crossed the line from childhood to maturity and can do a lot of things including marriage. Some religions also baptize their members through fire and some through water and others through different methods. When this is done then the new member is now considered to be reborn and to have changed from the old self to the new self (Olupọna, 1991).
A lot of traditions are still practiced by the modern African religions. Traditional activities such as circumcision that used to be done as an initiation process in the past are today done by the modern African religious sects as a religious activity and not as a traditional activity. Other activities such as worshiping objects have been turned into a religious practice whereas the same activities were done in the past as a cultural activity. Many activities that were done in the past as cultural activities have been replaced as religious activities. This shows that the African religion is in a way trying to preserve the traditional African culture by making them look as if the activities are religious. This is mainly done to make people to accept the culture and not consider the activities to be primitive as is always the case with most traditional African cultures (Olupọna, 1991).
In most African traditional myths, death and suffering is as a result of sin that was caused by human disobedience. To them suffering is for all men and will only stop to the good people, the people who do good while they are still alive. When these people die they will be transformed into other people who will suffer no more. However to all those who sin and do things that are unacceptable to the society, they will be punished and live a miserable life. People are therefore required and encouraged to do good and to persevere through all the bad things on earth because there is an eternal life that is coming for the good while the wicked will die for their sins. The good are also transformed into the next hierarchy and becomes the good ancestors once they are dead. This encourages people to be good and to persevere through all the sufferings that they go through.
Olupọna, J. K. (1991). African traditional religions in contemporary society: [papers presented at the conference "The place of African traditional religion in contemporary Africa", held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sept. 10-14, 1987, sponsored by the Council for World Religions]. New York, NY: Paragon House. Read More
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