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African Religion: The Moral Traditions of Abundant Life Paperback – May 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570751056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570751059
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Third World on December 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent exploration and analysis of African Religious thoughts and practices. The author's expositions are detailed, especially when speaking about the usually more obscure African societies. What's extremely interesting is the logic behind the practices such as (before entering 'rites of passage') leaving a child in the wilderness temporarily in order to teach the child that alone they are nothing, they literally do not exist. They can only BE within the context of a community. Needless to say, these lessons are invaluable. How one personally feels about the methods used is a matter of one's stance on right and wrong. What's disconcerting at times is the African's reliance on supernatural explanations when a predicament's causal factors aren't ostensible. You wish they'd use a logic correlate with superstition as the latter is not going to be the path to ensure the continent's resurgence. Still, the reliance on the purely ethereal is not as common as the public assumes. I felt that Magesa's writing may occassionally be a little too didactic . The target audience should be the layman African as to foster more inter-ethnic solidarity and Africans abroad in order to de-program and relinquish themselves from the dogmatic and rigid Religions that have them in a perpetual state of psychological enslavement. In this regard, the book may be a little over-written and too erudite. At any rate, it's more than worth the read and should be a part of every African's library. It will give you spiritual direction and what the Rastas say, "Guidance".
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Byoba on July 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tron missed the whole point of what Magesa was expressing about African religion being the world religion... considering that there is a lot of information that shows that Hinduism, Judaism, Christinaity, Islam, etc..., were all religions that evolved from African spiritual philosophy... When shepherd kings saught refuge in Egypt they adopted African customs and spirtiual philosophy in Egypt (KMT) which, doing that time was Africa's main society of commerce and interest to foreigners... The so-called semites were nothing more than farmers until their contact with the African Egyptians, which led to the construction of Judaism yrs later... followed by the Greek invasion which brought about Coptic Gnosticism, that later evolved into Christianity doing the Roman invasion of Greek territories via seizing Alexandria... which started the Greco-Roman era which eventually gave rise to Catholicism after different rulers, Church heads had parted ways... do to political and spiritual indifferences... it should be of no surprise that Africa is at the center of the 3 most popular religions... When the Arabs invaded Egypt and Ethiopia... they left with a new concept of spirituality from coming into contact with Christianity that was fused with African spirtuality, that led to the writings of Islam by Mohammed at a later time... The evidence can be found throughout todays Middle East, in Iraq, in Ethiopia, and Egypt.... Keep in mind that the so-called Semites and Indo-Aryans are the same ppl just from a different related-intermingled paternal clan... which is why they are fighting over their holy land today... a old dispute amongst siblings who chose to live a different life style... As far as Hinduism...Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven Mersinger on November 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
In my opinion, Magesa presents a solid understanding of the African religious psyche. However, I have a hard time agreeing with his notion of African religion (in the singular) as he proposes it. He might have dug out some base beliefs common throughout Africa (and if you want to be real honest, Asia, and South America). Yet, I still think that his commitment to ignoring culturally specific differences limits the value of this book. If you're interested in Mbiti and the theories in that circle, this might be a good book to read. If you could care less about those views or know nothing about them, Magesa's book isn't the one to convince you.
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