The effect of traditional indigenous beliefs on Christian relations among the Bantu people of East Africa.
WRDS 150 Research question: What is the effect of traditional indigenous beliefs on Christian relations among the Bantu people of East Africa? Methodology: Government publications, kingdom websites, archives, newspaper articles etc. Literature Review Religious and cultural pluralism has played a significant role in human societies, and this has become more evident with the emergence of contemporary cultures. The phenomenon of such religious diversity presents benefits as well as challenges, particularly, for religious traditions and cultures today. Scott (2000) emphasizes the importance of religion and cultural pluralism in the modern world. In African societies, Nkulu-N’Sengha (2015) finds that large numbers of Africans actively participate in one of Islam or Christianity yet also believe in, evil spirits, witchcraft, traditional religious healers, sacrifices to spirits, rebirth and other features of traditional African religions. The beliefs in various religious practices show the co-existence of the two major foreign religions (Islam and Christianity) with indigenous cultures since their acceptance into the African societies. This co-existence of belief systems partly serves as an explanation for the cultural diversity we see in modern African communities. Through time, however, there has been an emergence of religious extremism and intolerance by some Islamic and Christian groups in many societies, which at times, has undermined some of the traditional religious and cultural values upheld by these groups. Some scholars have analyzed the association between religion and violence. Ahluwalia and Miller (2015) assert that identity-based conflict, cultural and religious tensions form the background of radicalization and violent extremism while Lochhead (2001) links Christian monotheism to cruel practices. These views indeed firmly hold with the tremendous impact of religion on people’s lives among East African communities. While political instabilities, demand for religious freedoms and ethnic differences are some proposed explanations for some of these issues, little has been mentioned about traditional indigenous beliefs. I shall attempt to examine the effect of the indigenous values, spirituality and practices on the pluralistic religious system of the Bantu people of East Africa with emphasis on Christian relations. References Ahluwalia, P., & Miller, T. (2015). Religion and violence. Social Identities, 21(2), 85-86. Lochhead, D. (2001). Monotheistic violence. Buddhist -Christian Studies, 21(1), 3-12. Nkulu-N’Sengha, M. (2015). From Philadelphia to Kamina: Bumuntu interreligious diague in the heart of Africa. Journal of ecumenical studies, 50(1), 174-181. Scott, M.(2000). Taking religious and cultural pluralism seriously: The global religion and transformation of international society. Millennium - Journal of international studies, 29(4), 815-841.