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‘Wíwá Ọgbọ́n ati Ìmọ̀’, Search for Wisdom and Knowledge in Yoruba Religio-Cultural Context: A Mother-Tongue Exegetical Study of Colossians 2: 1-7

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  • Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology Mission and Culture

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This paper seeks to answer the question of whether Christians and Muslims share the same God belief. It focuses on three developments; two remarkable public statements, one from a Christian perspective and one from a Muslim perspective: the statements of the Second Vatican Council and the initiative A Common Word, and Miroslav Volf’s book on Allah. It shows that any attempt to augment good relations between Muslims and Christians ends with emphasising commonality between the two faiths. Christianity and Islam’ common belief in monotheism seems to be the most effective way to find theological ground so that the believers of these two faiths might find deeper convergence and unity. Eventually, this paper argues that it is not as easy as some Muslim and Christian pluralist think to assert that Muslims and Christians believe in the same God. The difficulty of immediate answer to the same God idea resides on the complexity of issue.
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Dinbilimleri Akademik Araştırma Dergisi 20/1 (Mart 2020): 269-292. Journal of Academic Research in Religious Sciences 20/1 (March 2020): 269-292. The subject of the article is the idea of Orisha in the traditional Yoruba religion. In this study, Orisha identity which is discussed as god or divine being in academic field is examined. The Orishas are handled in terms of their characteristics, duties and the place they hold in practice. They are related to the two realms, the divine realm and the human realm, that is, the Supreme God Olodumare and the human. Their identity also finds expression with them. They are neither god nor human. They are an entity between the two and perform the assigned task. Oriyas are centrally located in Yoruba religious practices. The Yorubas hold one or a few Orishas, which they need the most in their daily religious lives, and perform their ritual life by turning to it. But they are not equivalent and common to the Supreme God Olodumare, and they are not fundamental worship. They were active in creation with the appointment of Olodumare. The position of the Orishas in the divine realm is to prostrate to Olodumare and to glorify Him. At the same time, the Orishas serve as intermediaries between the divine realm and the human realm in shopping-style rituals. They are not gods, but divine and sacred beings. The Orishas took part in a sacred and divine plan in mythology and practice, creation and human life. Orishas, which are effective in mythology and common in the religious life of Yorubas; Obatala, Eshu, Orunmila, Oduduwa, Shango, Ogun and Oshun. Makalenin konusu, geleneksel Yoruba dininde Orişa fikridir. Çalışmada, akademik alanda tanrı ya da tanrısal varlık olarak tartışılan Orişa kimliği irdelenmiştir. Orişalar özellikleri, görevleri ve uygulamalardaki tuttukları yer bakımından ele alınmıştır. Onların iki âlemle, tanrısal âlem ve insan âlemiyle, yani Yüce Tanrı Olodumare ve insanlarla ilişkisi vardır. Orişaların kimliği de bunlarla ifadesini bulur. Ne tanrı ne de insan değildir. İkisi arasında bir varlıktır ve verilen görevi icra ederler. Orişalar, Yoruba dini uygu-lamalarında merkezi bir konumda yer alırlar. Yorubalar, gündelik dini yaşamlarını sür-dürmede en fazla ihtiyaç duydukları bir, nadir de olsa birkaç Orişayı tutarlar ve ritüel yaşamlarını ona yönelerek icra ederler. Ancak onlar Yüce Tanrı Olodumare’ye denk ve ortak olmayıp temel tapınma yönü de değillerdir. Yaratılışta Olodumare’nin görevlen-dirmesiyle etkin olmuşlardır. Orişaların tanrısal âlemdeki konumları Olodumare’ye secde etmek ve O’nu yüceltmektir. Aynı zamanda, alış-veriş tarzındaki ritüellerde Orişalar tanrısal âlemle insan âlemi arasında aracı vazifesi görürler. Birer tanrı değil, tanrısal ve kutsal varlıklardır. Orişalar mitoloji ve uygulamada, yaratılışta ve insan hayatında kutsal ve tanrısal bir plan dahilinde yer almışlardır. Mitolojide etkili ve Yoruba yaşam alanında yaygın olan Orişalar; Obatala, Eşu, Orunmila, Oduduva, Şango, Ogun ve Oşun’dur.
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Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi, December 2019, 47: 93-121 The subject of the article is common Orishas in the traditional Yoruba religion. Orishas are divine beings. They are mediators between humans and the divine realm and especially the Supreme God Olodumare. They are missing, limited and connected. They have human-like characteristics. Common Orishas stand at an important point in mythology with their duties and features. They are also the Orishas who maintain their influence, power and timeliness in the daily life of the Yorubas. These are Obatala, Eshu, Oshun, Shango, Orunmila, Oduduwa and Ogun. Water Orisha Oshun is the transformation of a force of nature. Oduduva is the transformation of an ancestral spirit. Shango is both a divine ancestral spirit and a natural force. The other four are examples of primordial Orishas that have existed since creation. Obatala is the initiator of earth life by shaping human beings. Eshu is a seer and a messenger between the people and the Orishas. Orunmila guides man through his wisdom in the relationship with the divine realm. Ogun, in relation to war and the iron tools of war, raises the power of man to protect himself. Oduduva Yorubaların en kutsal mekanı olan İle-İfe’de kurulan insan yaşamının ve krallığın devamını simgeler. Shango is the great warrior, herbalist, and courageous. Oshun is the protector, savior or educator of humanity.
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The need for the translation of the Scriptures into the vernacular to enable people read the bible in their mother-tongues started in the third century BC in the ancient city of Alexandria in Egypt. Since the first mother-tongue translation-from Hebrew to Greek-many vernacular translations have been done. As of 2009, Bible Agencies in Ghana have translated the full Bible into 13 and the New Testament into 20 languages. The question is, are the mother-tongue translations of the Bible being used? The study which was conducted in Kumasi, Ghana, in 67 congregations of the Mainline, Ghana Pentecostal, African Indigenous and Charismatic Churches, and some New Religious Movements, in October-November 2009 reveals that 55.5% of the respondents had the Bible in eight mother-tongues in the Kumasi Metropolis; people from ages 41-60, constituting 77.2% of the respondents read the mother-tongue Bibles most; only 12.8% young people read the mother-tongue Bibles; 34.1% of the respondents read the mother-tongue Bibles daily; 32.1% at least thrice a week; and 33.8% once a week, perhaps only on Sundays when they carry the Bibles to their respective churches. Even though this research was limited to Kumasi, it serves as an eye opener as to whether Christians are using the Bible translated into the various Ghanaian languages. This research is significant in that it is the first of its kind in Ghana, and others can build on it.
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Tel.: +233 (0) 244 564 079 +233 (0) 208 093 350 ABSTRACT Biblical Studies is an academic discipline in the sense that it involves a rigorous scientific study of the Bible that leads to a systematic evolution of new knowledge criticized by academic departments or faculties in universities and colleges, and in academic journals where such researches are published. Over the past few centuries have been categorised into three broad areas. First, there are those that locate the meaning of the text in the world behind the text; second, those that locate the meaning of the text in the world within the text; and third, those that locate the meaning of the given text in world in front of the text. The third category which is the newest is oriented towards the reader(s) or reading community and the part they play in the communication process. The readers bring their own points of view and concerns to the text and so may end up with different meanings. This third category has created space for African Biblical Studies, with one of its offshoots being Mother-tongue Biblical Hermeneutics. In this paper, the author discusses how Biblical Studies have been done over the centuries, and gives a step-by-step approach to how Mother-tongue Biblical Hermeneutics is carried out.
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Christian ethical standards are breaking down in our nation. Many believe now that individuals have rights, including the right to make their own sexual decisions and that sexual behaviour is an individual's private matter. How then can Christianity or the Church relate to the sexual and marriage problems today? If the bible really has a standard that can safe-guide sexual behaviours, why is sexual sin common even within the Church? Historical-contextual and sociological methods were employed in this paper in order to clearly state the New Testament understanding. The study contextualized Biblical teachings, particularly on sex and marriage to the Africans. Findings revealed that the Bible places sex and sexual activity within the larger context of holiness and faithfulness. In this regard, the Bible presents an honest and often detailed explanation of God's design for sex and its place in human life. The New Testament presents sexual deviance as an intentional rejection of God's authority as Creator and Lord. Invariably, Nigeria is characterized by loose sexual morality, which cannot be divorced from incessant poverty, unemployment and illiteracy, as well as the flood of immigrants to Africa and to Nigeria who brought new forms of family life and new sexual customs. The paper concludes that there is clear evidence that our memories are failing on Jesus’ injunctions in this regard, hence, there is need to draw upon the Christian faith for guidance but African context should not be forgotten
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Philosophy as a rational enterprise is and remains the search for truth. This endeavour is basically centred on man and his activities. This man as a rational animal is a product of culture and this underscores the continued rapport between culture and philosophy. This correlation and the inevitability of culture in the codification and existence of philosophy precipitated the drive and the move of some African scholars to shunt into the culture of Africans to garner and galvanize the latent philosophy therein. This was in the wake of the polemics against the existence of African philosophy. Albeit, taking a critical look into these affairs, it became plausible that some of the works produced from this task remains a paradox and a travesty as they were inflicted and affected with foreign categories and schemes that further leave the search for an authentic African philosophy open and their endeavour a charade. However, this lousy situation can only be address through proper reflective activities of African scholars towards originality of ideas that corresponds and represents the African world and that will make the African world intelligible to Africans.
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Divining the Self weaves elements of personal narrative, myth, history, and interpretive analysis into a vibrant tapestry that reflects the textured, embodied, and performative nature of scripture and scripturalizing practices. Velma Love examines the Odu--the Yoruba sacred scriptures--along with the accompanying mythology, philosophy, and ritual technologies engaged by African Americans. Drawing from the personal narratives of African American Ifa practitioners along with additional ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Oyotunji African Village, South Carolina, and New York City, Love's work explores the ways in which an ancient worldview survives in modern times. Divining the Self also takes up the challenge of determining what it means for the scholar of religion to study scripture as both text and performance. This work provides an excellent case study of the sociocultural phenomenon of scripturalizing practices.