RELIGION AND SOCIETY IN EARLY AFRICA
Category : History Essays
SOCIETY IN EARLY AFRICA
Early Africa has a unique history, important elements of which are an indigenous population, a colonial past and recent extensive immigration of people from many different countries and cultures. This has resulted in one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world, with over 100 birthplace groups. Each of these 'birthplace groups' has its own considerable cultural diversity as a result of history, regional differences and internal and external population movements, as well as variations related to key factors such as class, gender and urban and rural environments (, 1985).
Cultural diversity, including the resurgence of a strong ancestral presence and identity, presents challenging issues for Africa: what it means to be an African; the relationship between national and personal identities; identifying and working in both the cohesive and divisive forces in a multicultural society; and the form and flavor of a future republic. Culture includes institutions, manners, and habits of thought, intentions and ways of life. It encompasses the complex web of meanings which underlie everyday life and behavior--the understandings and expectations which guide our actions and interactions with others.
Early African people signify different cultural dimensions. In Modern Africa the pluralist possibilities of Africa were reduced to a single cultural option in which the primary emphasis was placed on uniformity, conformity and homogeneity. A single people in a single place was creating a single culture and working towards a single goal. Justice could be achieved and the desire of the Early African people for dignity and self-respect satisfied if corrupting foreign influences were excluded and institutions and laws were created to protect the Early African people, thereby leaving them free to pursue their peculiarly way of Early African life (, 1979).
In this point of view, it can be said that among the dimensions of culture diversity, the concept of individualism and masculinity is more dominant in the society of Early African than the others.
It is interesting to know the basic innate characteristics of the local society of Early Africa which contribute towards the development of their positive image.
· Mental Stability
Mental stability was crucial especially in the pursuit of the correct decision as well as the management and development of the processes accompanying it. It was important for the local leaders of Early Africa to remain updated with the latest developments to be able to stay aware and knowledgeable in all issues.
· Performance and Credibility
The positive image of the local society of Early Africa came as a result of well-planned strategies and activities. Their strong performance could also be linked to the effective strategic planning and human resource mobilization. Thus, their credibility increased as their performance became better.
· Planning and Strategy Formation Capabilities
Planning and strategy formation created the need for the local society of Early Africa to become aggressive especially in their roles. This was because their roles and performances were critical for their continued popularity and existence.
· Decision-making abilities.
Upon arriving at the correct decision or choice, the local society of Early Africa now gained confidence in its ability to make critical decisions or choices especially in issues that had a major impact on them, or where their integrity was being put on the line. Thus, the local society of Early Africa now searched for even more challenges and opportunities where it could further enhance its decision-making abilities regarding issues and events.
· Holistic Mindset of Issues
Through the exposure to various puzzling issues, the local society of Early Africa along the process was able to develop a holistic mindset regarding the issues surrounding them. The local society of Early Africa now became a keen observer of the truths and lies surrounding the issues being tackled, instead of relying on mere hearsays. The continuous pursuit of the truth behind the puzzling issues enabled the local society of Early Africa to consistently practice and enhanced a healthy and holistic mindset which made it difficult for detractors to give influence. Because of this holistic approach, the local society of Early Africa was able to effectively play their roles and continue to maximize this potential in the succeeding years.
Religion in Early Africa
The connection of astronomy, cosmogony and religion was almost always interlinked in Early African culture. It has been established that the idea of religion was an attempt by Early African culture to maintain an upper-hand on the environment in an attempt to control and to know it. Although science has managed to explain the universe, religion continues to persist.
As was given in the previous analysis, one of the primary reasons for the maintenance of religion in Early African culture was the idea of values and control which was needed for the continued function of the community. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see how different ideas, how the previous ideas on the linings of the stars have managed to influence the religions in Early African culture and the proceedings of people for their traditions and their beliefs. With the creation myths being used as the bases for the direction in which the religion is going through and also for the philosophies that are to be followed, it can be seen that the environment——always had a lasting effect on the Early African people (, 1990).
In many ways, religion in Early African culture also represented the belief on another realm with several ideas on their achievements because of the idea of the unattainable. It has always been philosophically maintained in Early African culture that in order to look forward, there is always the need to establish roots. The unfortunate lack of historical analysis and the presence of religion as an unattainable thing in Early African culture has become an advantageous source for the establishment of fantastical cosmogony.
The religious principles in Early Africa ascribed an absolute dignity to the person, who was differentiated from other beasts by a self cognizant moral intelligence. The ethics were entrenched, nonetheless, in certain connections and developed toward the general. Parents as one would expect feel affection for their offspring, and, given that love is reciprocated, children grow to be devoted to their parents. Given that they love their own parents, they desire others to be devoted to their parents in the same way, and so demonstrate love for the parents of others.
Early African religion similarly held that the intrinsic or innate equality of all individuals. This, nonetheless, did not at all involve sameness of rank. An established social chain of command was an essential way to put off social disagreement given that everybody is self-centered characteristically and there is no inherent motive to provide anybody else predilection over oneself. Early African religion claimed that human nature is good and that everybody is competent of developing into a sage (, 1999). This righteousness reveals itself in understanding for other people and it is revealed in some measure by acting toward others in accordance to their rank in relation to us. Anyhow, equality does not imply that everybody is the same.