African Religious Heritage with Special Reference to East Africa

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Aims and Sources of the Study

Importance of the study. Approaches and attitudes. Written sources. Unwritten sources; tales; customs, art, etc.

African Creation Myths

Creation and purpose of universe and man. Man's relationship to God, nature, community and other individuals.

African Childhood

Pregnancy, birth, names and naming, childrearing. Meaning and importance of human life. Religious education: "why" tales. General education: "how" tales, apprenticeship, playmates.


Meaning of community. Friendship. Personal responsibilities in the community. Tests of courage. Circumcision.


Marriage and family life. Communal courtship. The various wedding ceremonies. Bride price; bride wealth. Husband and wife. In-laws. Procreation-motherhood, fatherhood, and duties. Divorce and separation. Polygamy. Behavior within the household

Work and Leisure

Division of labor, art-in-life, crafts and sports. Economics and the human being.

The Community

Family, clan and tribe. Leadership roles. Political system and social welfare (justice). Religious personages.

Death and the Thereafter

Causes of disease, accidents, and death (mystery of evil). Burial ceremonies. Destiny of the soul.

Spirits and Ancestors

The dead, their nature and function. Men and spiritual powers. Nature and supernature. Magic and witchcraft.


Nature of the deity. The works of the deity. Moral attributes of the deity. Work of the deity. Moral attributes of the deity. Worship: sacrifices and prayers.