The abandonment of African traditional religion (ATR) raises questions about its perceived efficacy, particularly when contrasted with the shift toward foreign religions. The assertion that religion or spirituality might not hold the omnipotent influence attributed to it, resonates beyond the African context.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Drawing parallels with Asian societies, East Asians, in particular, have also embraced a departure from religion in favor of rational thinking. Southern Asians, conversely, often turned to Arab mysticism, adopting Islam. India stands out as a unique case, maintaining its original religion but without necessarily achieving superior outcomes compared to others.
Reflecting on the abandonment of ATR by many African forebears during encounters with Europeans, various factors come to light. A key reason was the perceived powerlessness of ATR against the technological and medical advancements brought by Europeans. Traditional practices couldn’t withstand the impact of advanced weaponry and were insufficient in combating diseases like smallpox and monkeypox.
Sacred sites, considered potent in ATR, faced destruction by white missionaries without apparent consequences. Additionally, the introduction of Western education, coupled with Christianity, produced individuals with enhanced skills in farming and construction, posing a challenge to traditional African workers.
While acknowledging the merits and drawbacks of both ATR and foreign religions, it prompts the question of whether wholesale abandonment was the optimal path. The realization that the perceived power of religion might be overstated calls for a nuanced perspective.
Notably, religions originating from the Middle East, such as Christianity and Islam, seem to hold a certain prominence. Acknowledging the historical significance of the Middle East and its early civilizations suggests that the mysticism associated with these religions might possess a deeper influence than initially perceived.
It urges Africans to reconsider the potency of Middle Eastern mysticism, emphasizing its potential impact on ancient civilizations in the region.