Rediscovering the Value of Initiation Rites: The African Perspective

By Emmanuel Chinedu Anagwo.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 13, 2016 $US5.00

This article addresses initiation rites that emphasize death and rebirth. The death-resurrection value of African initiation rites shows that in order for the candidate to “live,” the old self must “die.” This is in consonance with Christian theology (John 12:24). The findings of the research are that both Christian and African traditional religions are not only theocentric, but also practice spirituality. This article demonstrates that the same ideologies of Christian initiation rites run through the African religious worship community. Adopting comparative and descriptive methods, this article demonstrates that the sense of ritual worship has similarities in various cultures, especially as seen in the birth, twin, adulthood, marriage, eldership, and ancestorship rites. Though this article is centred on the African experience, a contextual approach to the study reveals that it may equally be applicable to other Christians. The research has realized that initiation rites of the African traditional religion also contain the Gospel values that are requisite for evangelization.

Keywords: Rediscover, Values, Initiation Rites, Liturgy, Inculturation, Evangelization

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.57-69. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 13, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 381.738KB)).

Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chinedu Anagwo

Lecturer, Department of Sacred Liturgy, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria