Effects of Christianity and Islam on Classical Sub-Sahara African Religion

Christianity and Islam supplemented native African religion because syncretic blending occurred. Traditional African beliefs worshipped an omniscient and omnipotent creator god which was a single divine force that was responsible for the world, In addition, Africans recognized many lesser gods and nature spirits along with ancestors. It was believed that souls of the departed had the power to intervene with the lives of their descendants, so traditions focused on honoring deities, spirits, or ancestors’ souls to win their favorr Rituals included prayers, animal sacrifices, and ceremonies marking important stages of life, such as birth, circumcision, marriage, and death.

Diviners were a class of religious specialists that had innate abilities or extensive training to mediate between humanity and higher powers, Groups afflicted by illness, sterility, or crop failure consulted the diviners who then consulted oracles to identify the cause and prescribe medicine, rituals, or sacrifices to eliminate the problem.

African religion was mostly practical for explaining, predicting, and controlling experiences of individuals, so it strongly emphasized high moral standards in order to maintain order.

As a result, family and kinship groups policed and disciplined their members so that the deities would not be displeased and bring misfortune. First arriving in Egypt during the first century C E, Christianity originally remained a Mediterranean faith that did not reach sub»Saharan Africar Then, it was established in the kingdom of Axum in fourth century C E, the first converts were local merchants who traded with Mediterranean Christians, and the king also converted to improve relations with powerful neighbors in Christian Egypt.

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Missionaries translated the Bible into Ethiopian language and popularized Christianity throughout the kingdom, Furthermore, the kings encouraged this religion in hopes of cultural unity.

For example, they commissioned massive churches carved out of rock, reflecting traditional Ethiopian architecture of rock shrines. In addition, during the thirteenth century, Solomonic rulers claimed descent from biblical Israelite kings David and Solomon while Christianity retained its privileged status. Also, due to Islamic conquests around When the Christians Ethiopia, it became an isolated island of Christianity. Although Ethiopian Christianity had basic theology and rituals, it also recognized evil spirits. For example, many Ethiopians carried amulets to protect themselves Islam was another religion of salvation that appealed to the ruling elites and merchants because it improved business relationships with Muslim merchants from north Africa and southwest Asia In addition, enthusiastic converts built mosques, founded religious schools, and invited experts in lslamic law, but still observed local traditions. For example, African Muslims still protected themselves against evil spirits and witches, and conducted rituals to please nature deities and ancestor spirits. Africans also did not observe Islamic gender relations, since women enjoyed much social freedom.

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Effects of Christianity and Islam on Classical Sub-Sahara African Religion. (2022, Nov 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/effects-of-christianity-and-islam-on-classical-sub-sahara-african-religion/

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