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The place of African traditional religion in interreligious encounters in Sierra Leone since the advent of Islam and Christianity

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dc.contributor.advisor Lubbe, Gerrie en
dc.contributor.author Conteh, Prince Sorie en
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-25T11:02:29Z
dc.date.available 2009-08-25T11:02:29Z
dc.date.issued 2009-08-25T11:02:29Z
dc.date.submitted 2008-04-30 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/2316
dc.description.abstract This study which is the product of library research and fieldwork seeks, on account of the persistent marginalisation of African Traditional Religion (ATR) in Sierra Leone by Islam and Christianity, to investigate the place of ATR in inter-religious encounters in the country since the advent of Islam and Christianity. As in most of sub-Saharan Africa, ATR is the indigenous religion of Sierra Leone. When the early forebears and later progenitors of Islam and Christianity arrived, they met Sierra Leone indigenes with a remarkable knowledge of God and a structured religious system. Successive Muslim clerics, traders, and missionaries were respectful of and sensitive to the culture and religion of the indigenes who accommodated them and offered them hospitality. This approach resulted in a syncretistic brand of Islam. In contrast, most Christian missionaries adopted an exclusive and insensitive approach to African culture and religiosity. Christianity, especially Protestantism, demanded a complete abandonment of African culture and religion, and a total dedication to Christianity. This attitude has continued by some indigenous clerics and religious leaders to the extent that Sierra Leone Indigenous Religion (SLIR) and it practitioners continue to be marginalised in Sierra Leone's inter-religious dialogue and cooperation. Although the indigenes of Sierra Leone were and continue to be hospitable to Islam and Christianity, and in spite of the fact that SLIR shares affinity with Islam and Christianity in many theological and practical issues, and even though there are many Muslims and Christians who still hold on to traditional spirituality and culture, Muslim and Christian leaders of these immigrant religions are reluctant to include Traditionalists in interfaith issues in the country. The formation and constitution of the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) which has local and international recognition did not include ATR. These considerations, then beg the questions: * Why have Muslim and Christian leaders long marginalised ATR, its practices and practitioners from interfaith dialogue and cooperation in Sierra Leone? * What is lacking in ATR that continues to prevent practitioners of Christianity and Islam from officially involving Traditionalists in the socio-religious development of the country? Muslim and Christians have given several factors that are responsible for this exclusion: * The prejudices that they inherited from their forebears * ATR lacks the hallmarks of a true religion * ATR is primitive and economically weak * The fear that the accommodation of ATR will result in syncretism and nominalism * Muslims see no need to dialogue with ATR practitioners, most of whom they considered to be already Muslims Considering the commonalities ATR shares with Islam and Christianity, and the number of Muslims and Christians who still hold on to traditional spirituality, these factors are not justifiable. Although Islam and Christianity are finding it hard to recognise and include ATR in interfaith dialogue and cooperation in Sierra Leone, ATR continues to play a vital role in Sierra Leone's national politics, in the search and maintenance of employment, and in the judicial sector. ATR played a crucial part during and after the civil war. The national government in its Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report acknowledged the importance and contribution of traditional culture and spirituality during and after the war. Outside of Sierra Leone, the progress in the place and level of the recognition of ATR continues. At varying degrees, the Sociétié Africaine de Culture (SAC) in France, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), the Vatican, and the World Council of Churches, have taken positive steps to recognise and find a place for ATR in their structures. Much about the necessity for dialogue and cooperation with ATR can be learnt in the works and efforts of these secular and religious bodies. If nothing else, there are two main reasons why Islam and Christianity in Sierra Leone must be in dialogue with ATR: * Dialogue of life or in community. People living side-by-side meet and interact personally and communally on a regular basis. They share common resources and communal benefits. These factors compel people to be in dialogue * Dual religiosity. As many Muslims and Christians in Sierra Leone are still holding on to ATR practices, it is crucial for Muslims and Christians to dialogue with ATR practitioners. If Muslims and Christians are serious about meeting and starting a process of dialogue with Traditionalists, certain practical issues have to be considered: * Islam and Christianity have to validate and accept ATR as a true religion and a viable partner in the socio-religious landscape of Sierra Leone * Muslims and Christians must educate themselves about ATR, and the scriptures and teachings of their respective religious traditions in order to relate well with Traditionalists These are starting points that can produce successful results. Although at present Muslims and Christians in Sierra Leone are finding it difficult to initiate dialogue and cooperation with Traditionalists, all hope is not lost. It is now the task of the established IRCSL to ensure the inclusion of ATR. Islam and Christianity must remember that when they came as strangers, ATR, played host to them and has played and continues to play a vital role in providing hospitality, and allowing them to blossom on African soil. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xv, 248 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Witchcraft en
dc.subject Western Area en
dc.subject Vatican en
dc.subject Temne en
dc.subject The Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL) en
dc.subject Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) en
dc.subject Spirits en
dc.subject Sierra Leone Indigenous Religion (SLIR) en
dc.subject Sierra Leone en
dc.subject Abortion en
dc.subject African Christian en
dc.subject African Traditional Religion ATR) en
dc.subject All People's Congress (APC) en
dc.subject Ancestral spirits en
dc.subject Angels en
dc.subject Chief en
dc.subject Chiefdom en
dc.subject Christian African en
dc.subject Christianity en
dc.subject Culture en
dc.subject Dialects en
dc.subject Diviners en
dc.subject Dual religionist en
dc.subject Ecology en
dc.subject Forgiveness en
dc.subject Freetown en
dc.subject God above en
dc.subject God below en
dc.subject Herbalists en
dc.subject Homosexuality en
dc.subject Islam en
dc.subject Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) en
dc.subject Inter-religious dialogue en
dc.subject Interfaith en
dc.subject Kono en
dc.subject Krio en
dc.subject Limba en
dc.subject Mende en
dc.subject Myths en
dc.subject National Pentecostal Limba Church (NPLC) en
dc.subject Non-ancestral spirits en
dc.subject Offences en
dc.subject Paramount Chief en
dc.subject Pillars of Islam en
dc.subject Pope en
dc.subject Prayers en
dc.subject Priests en
dc.subject Project of Christian and Muslim relations in Africa en
dc.subject Protestants en
dc.subject Provinces en
dc.subject Revolutionary United Front (RUF) en
dc.subject Roman Catholic Church (RCC) en
dc.subject Sacred specialists en
dc.subject Sacraments en
dc.subject Sacrifice en
dc.subject Salvation en
dc.subject Sculptures en
dc.subject Stories en
dc.subject Supreme Being en
dc.subject Syncretism en
dc.subject Sin en
dc.subject.ddc 299.11509664
dc.subject.lcsh Religions -- Relations
dc.subject.lcsh Christianity and other religions -- African
dc.subject.lcsh Islam -- Relations
dc.subject.lcsh Sierra Leone -- Religion
dc.title The place of African traditional religion in interreligious encounters in Sierra Leone since the advent of Islam and Christianity en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Religious Studies and Arabic en
dc.description.degree D.Litt. et Phil. (Religious Studies) en


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