History

1 ATR IN KEY THESES: SUMMARY OF CRITICAL POINTS ON THE STUDY OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS “Africans are civilized to the marrow of their bones! The idea of the barbaric Negro is a European invention.” (Leo Frobenius, German Africanist) “If archaeologists are correct in believing that the first human beings came from Africa, then it stands to reason that the first religions also originated there… It is possible that, as the earliest humans slowly migrated to other continents of the world, they carried with them religious ideas and practices that originated in Africa.” Robert M. Baum, “Indigenous Religious Traditions” in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 15-17. “Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt… There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an Egyptian race… My own conjectures were founded, first, on the fact that they are black-skinned and have woolly hair… but further and more especially, on the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times.” Herodotus, History, Book II (paragraphs 50,51,52 and 104)

“Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a man with power both in his speech and his actions.” (The Jerusalem Bible, Acts 7, 17-22). “African wisdom is not merely a convenient expression; it is something that exists. It is a collection of unique precepts that enable the people of traditional Africa to settle as harmoniously as possible the disputes that mar human relationships.” Balandier, Georges and Maquet, Jacques, Dictionary of Black African Civilization. (New York: Leon Amiel, ); p.336. “Undoubtedly prompted by the demon of literature, the ethnographers who tell us of African trances emphasize their brutality. But African mysticism has its nuances, half-tones, and melodic lines. Among the Yoruba and Fon there is an entire civilization of spirituality comparable to that of the wood carvings and bronzes of Benin…”

Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press).

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS (BIG PICTURE)

You will find here, in 5 sections, an excellent summary of knowledge pertaining to African traditional religions Here is all that is necessary for a better understanding of African traditional religions

SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION: GENERAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK (WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW, HOW MANY?) Part 0. How many practitioners of ATR? (see section II on the religious landscape) Part 1. Official recognition of indigenous or “pagan” religions in the world

1.1 Recognition by various governments in Europe, Africa and the Americas 1.2. The rise of religious tolerance and the recognition of other religions: some fundamental guiding principles of religious tolerance

Part 2. Why Study Africa? Why does Africa matter to us? 2.0. Summary of the fundamental reasons for studying Africa 2.1. Cradle of humanity

2.2. Implications of “cradle of humanity theory” for civilization and world religions 2.2.1. African contribution to world civilization and religion in general 2.2.2. African contribution to Western Civilization and Spirituality 2.2.2.1. Contribution to the Religions and Spiritual Values of the West or Europe 2.2.2.1.1. Contribution to ancient religions of Greece and Rome 2.2.2.1.2. Contribution to the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity 2.2.2.2. Contribution to Western civilization 2.2.2.2.0. Western civilization in general 2.2.2.2.1. African contribution to the Roman Empire 2.2.2.2.2. Contribution to ancient Greece 2.2.2.2.2. 1. Greek religion (Herodotus) 2.2.2.2.2. 2. Greek Philosophy and Science 2.2.2.2.2. 3. Democracy, Human Rights, and the “Rule of Law” 2.3. The Egyptian Problem and Eurocentrism: Educational Propaganda and Miseducation. 2.3.1.The Egyptian Problem 2.3.2. Foreign Stimulus Ideology and The Zimbabwe Gambling

3 Part 3. How to properly study ATR? 3.1. Overcoming Miseducation and the colonial educational propaganda

of Eurocentric scholarship 3.2. Historical context and Epistemological Framework 3.2.1. Principles of Religious Tolerance and the Recognition of Traditional Religions 3.2.2. The “Cradle of Humanity” theory and its implications for world civilizations

and religions 3.2. 3. Beyond Colonialism: African Renaissance, Multiculturalism and the Revival

of Traditional Religions 3.2. 4. Revisiting the Sources of Knowledge 3.3. Outline of Key points in the study of ATR 3.4. African Moral Values 3.4.1. Major African moral values (Virtues) 3.4.2. Recognition of African moral qualities and spiritual values

SECTION 2. RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE OF AFRICA AND THE WORLD

Part 1. Practitioners of ATR in Africa and the World Part 2. Religious Landscape of Africa and the World

SECTION 3. AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS IN 80 KEY THESES SECTION 4. CHRONOLOGY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AFRICAN RELIGIONS Part 1. Chronology and General Bibliography Part 2. Thematic Bibliography

I. General History of Africa II. African Traditional Religions: Important Works III. Sacred Texts of Africa

1. Sacred Texts of African Traditional Religions 2. Sacred Texts of Ancient Egypt 3. African Bibles

IV. Christianity as an African Religion V. The Egyptian Problem VI. Colonialism, Intellectual Racism, and Genocide

SECTION 5. MISCELLANEOUS DATA

4 DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION: GENERAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK (WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW, HOW MANY?) Part 0. How many practitioners of ATR? (see section II on the religious landscape) Part 1. Official recognition of indigenous or “pagan” religions in the world 1.1. Recognition by various governments in Europe, Africa and the Americas

1. 2. The rise of religious tolerance and the recognition of other religions: some fundamental guiding principles of religious tolerance

– 1. Impact of the UN declaration of human rights, article 18 – 2. Change of attitude among Western scholars (Durkheim, Huston Smith) – 3. Paradigm shift in Christian Consciousness – 3.1. Biblical Foundation of Religious Pluralism – 3.2. Revolutionary views in the Catholic Church (Councils, Popes, Theologians)

o Jean Danielou o Nostra Aetate (Vatican II) o Pope John-Paul II o Schillebeeckx o Jacque Dupuis o Panikkar PROTESTANTS o Cantwell Smith

– 4. Islamic attitude toward other religions (Koran, Muhammad, Ibn Arabi, Rumi) – 5. Buddhist attitude toward other religions – 6. Hindu vision of other religions – 7. African view of religious tolerance (Wole Soyinka, Abimbola, Bujo, Mazrui,)

5 Part 2. Why Study Africa? Why does Africa matter to us? 2.0. Summary of the fundamental reasons for studying Africa 2.0.1. A message from the Rig Veda 2.0.2. Indigenous religions are the majority of world religions 2.0.3. Terence’s vision 2.0.4. Huston’s Smith’s challenge 2.0.5. George C. Bond (to be human is to be African) 2.0.6. Robert Baum (the message of Archaeology) 2.0.7. African contribution to the World

o African contribution to Humanity o African contribution to Western civilization

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