Mbiti uses it to refer to recently dead children, brother, sisters and other family members who were not in any way ancestors. He strongly advocates the abolition of the two terms “ancestral spirits” and “ancestor” in order to replace them with “spirits” and the “living dead”.
What is death according to African traditional religion?
Africans ordinarily do not encourage the contemplation of death or any discussion about their own or their loved ones’ death. According to the African belief system, life does not end with death, but continues in another realm.
Why are ancestors considered the living dead in African traditional religions and culture?
Those who lived well among the dead are venerated because they are believed to be not only living but also can influence the fortune of the living. This practice forms the basis of African Traditional Religion.
What religion worships the dead?
African religion is ancestor worship; that is, funeral preparations, burial of the dead with ceremony and pomp, belief in eternal existence of souls of the dead as ancestors, periodic remembrance of ancestors, and belief that they influence the affairs of their living descendants.
What was the role of the ancestors in African religion?
OLUPONA: The role of ancestors in the African cosmology has always been significant. Ancestors can offer advice and bestow good fortune and honor to their living dependents, but they can also make demands, such as insisting that their shrines be properly maintained and propitiated.
What two religions do most Africans identify with today?
Although the majority of Africans today are adherents of Christianity or Islam, African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. The two Abrahamic religions are widespread across Africa, though mostly concentrated in different areas.
How do Nigerians handle death?
Muslim Nigerians bury the deceased as soon as possible, but Christian Nigerians may wait longer. It’s important to give the deceased a proper burial, or else they may come back to haunt the living. Muslim Nigerians usually bury the body facing Mecca.
How is death viewed in African culture?
Death is the last phase of the elaborate celebration of the African life cycle . Death is recognized in Africa through a rite of passage that prepares the spirit of the deceased to journey on to the next realm. In many African societies, after the body is buried, the family will have a second, more elaborate funeral.
What are the causes of death in African communities?
Distribution of the leading causes of death in Africa in 2019
|Characteristic||Distribution of causes of death|
|Lower respiratory infections||9.9%|
|Ischaemic heart disease||5.5%|
How does American culture view death?
By contrast, in the United States the end of life has become so medicalized that death is often viewed as a failure, rather than as an expected stage of life.
Why do we respect the dead?
If we should respect the dead because of their posthumous interests, we would respect them by respecting their wishes. Other foundations of respect may look to cultural norms or relatives’ interests but even then they are likely to accept that respect for the dead is substantially respect for their wishes.
Why do we honor the dead?
The veneration of the dead, including one’s ancestors, is based on love and respect for the deceased. In some cultures, it is related to beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living. Some groups venerate their direct, familial ancestors.
What religion prays to their ancestors?
Ancestor worship and reverence to family are fundamental elements of Confucianism. Rituals to honour ancestors are extremely important and must be performed in precise ways.
What is God in African traditional religion?
African peoples do not consider God to be a man, but in order to express certain concepts, they employ languages and images about God as an aid to their conceptualization of him whom they have not seen and about whom they confess to know little or nothing. … He is the constant participant in the affairs of human beings.
What is the oldest religion?
The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्मः, lit.
What is the main African religion?
The majority of Africans are adherents of Christianity or Islam. African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. Abrahamic religions are widespread throughout Africa.