Funeral Rites Reformation for Any African Ethnic Community Based on the Proposed New Funeral Practices for the Agikuyu

Funeral Rites Reformation for Any African Ethnic Community Based on the Proposed New Funeral Practices for the Agikuyu

by Johnson Nganga Mbugua

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498290906
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 06/17/2016
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Johnson Mbugua is an alumni of SATS where he earned his MTh cum laude in Christian History in 2011. Still at SATS, he earned his PhD (Practical Theology) in 2014. In the course of his career, he observed how people coped with death and the problems they faced. This led him to carry out this research and writing. His other works include Mumbi's Brideprice (a novel), Longman (1971), and Faith of the Agikuyu Christian Martyrs (2011).

Table of Contents

List of Figures xv

List of Tables xvi

Foreword Mary N. Getui xvii

Acknowledgments xix

List of Abbreviations xxi

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Burial and Accompanying Funeral Rites 1

Purpose of the study 6

Problem Statement 6

Objectives of the study 6

Research Questions 7

Significance of the Study 8

Scope of the Study 9

Limitations and Delimitations 9

The Current State of Scholarship 9

Methodology 12

Chapter 2 Traditional Funeral Practices of the Agikuyu Including a Few Other African Tribes and Some Religious Faith 15

The Agikuyu 17

Origin of the Agikuyu 18

Agikuyu Society and Culture 19

Relationship of the Agikuyu with their Neighbors especially the Maasai 25

The Kikuyu Traditional Religion 28

The Agikuyu Ancestral Spirits (Ngoma) 32

Agikuyu Traditional Burial Rites 36

Death Ceremonies-Members of the Agikuyu Guild 38

Death Ceremonies of an Elder-Agikuyu Guild 38

Extramarital Sex, Sex Taboos and Some Other Aspects Of Agikuyu Sex Life That Were Observed in the Past but not Presently 48

Disposal of the Dead-Agikuyu Guild-Others 51

Disposal-Abnormal Deaths of Kikuyu Guild Members 52

The Ukabi (Maasai) Guild Burials and Accompanying Rites 53

Summary of the Kikuyu Rites Concerning Death 55

Traditional Funeral Rites of Selected African Tribes 57

Akamba View of Death and Their Burial Rites 58

Kenya-Gusii Tribe 58

Tanzania-Sukuma People 60

Ghana-The Ga-Adangbe People 62

Nigeria-The Urhobo People 63

English Funeral Rites 64

Some Examples of Bizarre Funeral Rites and Practices 67

Zoroastrians of Persia and India Funeral Practices 67

Funeral Rites-The Poor of the Philippines 70

Funeral Rites of Other Religions 71

Judaism Funeral Rites 71

Islamic (Muslim) Funeral Rites 73

Hindu Funeral Rites 74

Buddhist Funerals 76

Humanist Funeral Ceremonies 77

Economy of Burial Grounds 78

The City of Paris 78

Italy 79

West Germany 79

Mexico 79

Final Observation about Future Cemetery Space 80

Chapter 3 Present-Day Burial Rites of the Agikuyu Christians 82

Introduction 82

Changes that have Taken Place over the Last 120 Years to the Agikuyu Methods of Disposing of the Dead 82

Noticeable Development of Agikuyu Funeral Rites since Independence (1963) 96

Present-day Agikuyu Funeral Rites 97

Recent Development Touching on Modern Agikuyu Christian Funeral Rites 107

Chapter 4 Burial in the Biblical Period 109

Introduction and Methodology 109

Burial in the Biblical Period 116

Burial of Patriarchs and Matriarchs-Old Testament 116

Burial of other Biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs 119

Burial During the Period of the Exodus and Conquest Generations 121

Burial During the Period of the Judges 122

Burial During the Monarchic Period 122

The Pentateuchal Legislation on Burial and Mourning 126

Burial Practices-Israel in Palestine 126

Burial Practices in the New Testament 127

Summary of the Biblical Rites of Burial and Burial Customs 132

Conclusion 135

Chapter 5 Burial Rites for the Early Christians From 33 ad to 600 Ad, and Also During the Middle Ages 137

Introduction 137

Synopsis of Early Christianity 138

Early Christian Burial Rites 145

Introduction 145

Acts Performed Before Death-Early Christianity 147

Acts Performed Soon After Death 149

Clothing of the Dead 151

Crowning the Dead and Significance of Crowns in Early Christianity 153

The Wake Held Over the Dead 155

The Funeral Procession 159

The Singing of Psalms during the Christian Procession 162

Interment and Why the Early Christians Were Against Various Pagan Practices 163

The Christian Vale 166

Place and Mode of Burial 167

Christian Burial From the Middle Ages 172

Conclusion 173

Chapter 6 The Issues of the Resurrection and of the Resurrected Body 175

Introduction 175

The Concept of Resurrection and its Development among the Jews and Christians 176

Resurrection-the Biblical Teaching 180

Centrality of Resurrection in the New Testament 185

Denials of Resurrection 187

The Resurrection of Believers and the Resurrected Body 188

Conclusion 192

Chapter 7 Critical Correlation of the Study 195

A Table Offering a Visual Summary and Correlation of the Funeral Practices of the Various Traditions Discussed in this Study 196

Regarding this Chapter 202

How the Idea of Burial Arose 203

Actions Performed Before Death 205

Actions Done Soon After Death 209

Clothing of the Dead 211

Crowning the Dead 213

The Wake Held Over the Dead 214

Mourning 216

Funeral Procession and Time of Burial 218

Interment 220

Place of Burial 224

Rituals Performed After Burial 227

Life After Death 231

Economy of Burial Grounds and Spaces 233

The Chapter that Follows 233

Chapter 8 Recommendations, Conclusion, Areas of Further Research and Contribution to the Field of Practical Theology 234

Introduction 234

Recommendation Towards Formulating A Model For Agikuyu Christians and other African ethnic communities Funeral Rites That Integrates Relevant Cultural, Scriptural and Practical Norms 236

Range of Recommendations 242

Legal Aspect 242

Acts to be performed before death including leaving a will, and similar 242

Indicating how and where one wishes to be buried 243

Fear of death 243

Respect to the Body 244

Acts to be performed soon after death 245

Same day as death funeral or an immediate funeral 246

Planning of Burial if it will take place a few days or weeks after death 249

Planning for the burial of those who die far from home, especially outside the country 251

Simplifying Funeral Procedures, Reducing Costs and Adopting Alternative Funeral Practices 253

Simplicity 254

Mortuary 254

Delaying Burial 255

Announcements 255

Clothing the dead 256

Funeral procession 257

Funeral photographs and Videos 257

Taking the body to Church 258

Cost 259

Graves 262

Tombstones 264

Flowers 265

Feeding mourners 265

Giving to the poor 265

Cremation 265

Unveiling the Cross 267

Conclusion 268

Areas of Further Research 269

Similarity between the traditional funeral practices for the Wa Sukuma of Tanzania and the Agikuyu of Kenya 269

The issue of widows succumbing to tradition 269

Before the current High God (Ngai or Mwene Nyagah) of the Agikuyu which was their Deity? 270

Resurgence of diseases from entombed corpses 271

How This Study Contributes to the Field of Practical Theology 271

Appendix I Saturday Nation-National News: October 10, 2009, Page 9 1

Appendix II Respondents Interviewed Regarding The Kikuyu Culture, Tradition, Religion and Traditional Funeral Rites 275

Works Cited 279

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