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African Religions & Philosophy / Edition 2

African Religions & Philosophy / Edition 2

by John S. Mbiti


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African Religions and Philosophy is a systematic study of the attitudes of mind and belief that have evolved in the many societies of Africa.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780435895914
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 01/01/1992
Edition description: REV
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Canon Professor John Mbiti, an Anglican priest from Kenya, taught Theology and Religion for many years at Makerere University in Uganda. After that he served as Director of the Ecumenical Institute Bossey, of the World Council of Churches near Geneva, Switzerland. He has been visiting professor at many universities in Europe, America, Canada and Australia and has travelled widely in many countries. Professor Mbiti has published over 400 articles, reviews and books on theology, religion, philosophy and literature. Currently he is part-time professor at the University of Bern, and parish minister in Burgdorf, Switzerland. He is married to Verena and they have four children: Kyeni, Maria, Esther and Kavata.

Table of Contents


The Study of African Religions and Philosophy

The Concept of Time as a Key to the Understanding and Interpretation of African Religions and Philosophy

The Nature of God

The Works of God

God and Nature

The Worship of God

Spiritual Beings, Spirits and the Living-Dead

The Creation and Original State of Man

Ethnic Groups, Kinship and the Individual

Birth and Childhood

Initiation and Puberty Rites

Marriage and Procreation

Death and the Hereafter

Specialists: Medicine-Men, Rainmakers, Kings, and Priests

Mystical Power, Magic, Witchcraft and Sorcery

The Concepts of Evil, Ethics and Justice

Changing Man and His Problems

Christianity, Islam and other Religions in Africa

The Search for New Values, Identity, and Security



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African Religions & Philosophy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
More than just a monolithic scope of African beliefs and a short illustration, according to European critics, of pagan and heathen symbolism, African Religions and Philosophies is indeed a book worth reading. Not only, does it portray the elegance of African beleif systems. But, it also portrays the intellectual and innate spiritual nature of African societies. Unlike their Western or European counterparts, African societies do not breach or divide or insult other religions nor do their place one gender above another. In life as in death, as religion is relegated to express, equality and mutuality are the cornerstones of what Western religion, christianity supposedly demonstrates. Yet, mutuality and equality were never the cornerstones in this religion, when slavery, sexism, and brutal agression against people of color, native americans, women, homosexuals, etc were and still are the results of western spiritual philosophy. That being said, reading African Religions and Philosphies is and should be the decision of good scholastic and spiritual growth.
BryanThomasS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The classic on the topic, written by an African. Very in depth and informative and insightful. Covers a lot of ground and compares the commonalities, while also noting differences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an informative book about pre-coloinal African beliefs and philosophies. I clearly liked what info this African-born scholar had to say on traditional African religious beliefs.  In especially liked the last few chapters of his book especially when he was talking about other religions in Africa, particularly Christianity which came on the continent in the 2nd century C.E./A.D. and flourished in parts of Africa by the 4th century CE such as Nubia, Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. I also was shocked to learn that for many centuries the Ethiopiain Church was cut off from the rest of Christendom allowing it to develop it's own African expression and theology because of the invading Arabs Anyway great introduction to the religions of Africa. .