What is it about?

The rise of African spiritualities has become conspicuous. For various reasons, ranging from Afrocentrism to anti-religious tendencies to the popular religions, from racial animosity to politico-economic ideologies, a lot of people, Africans and non-Africans, are embracing the neo-African spiritualities. Can this renaissance in African spirituality bring forth or support a renaissance in Africa? Africa has about 450 million Christians, about 40% of the continent’s population. People of African origin equally make up a good number of Christians outside Africa. In other words, Christianity is decisive, ideologically and structurally, not just as a religion but also in the socio-political life of Africans. Finding a way to harmonize Christianity and African spiritualities, especially in the face of this renaissance, for the growth of Africa, is the aim of this article.

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Why is it important?

What is important in this article is that it argues that Africans who are Christians do not have to choose between being a traditional African and a Christian. The African can always decide against the rituals and religiousness of the spiritualities that contradict Christianity, and vice versa. This is not syncretism. It is interreligiousness. It equally argues that to achieve this renaissance, these African traditional spiritualities cannot be allowed to be destroyed. Otherwise, one would lose not just a worldview that holds the meaning and identity of a continent but also the materials for the renaissance of Africa. It also argues that that the re-emergence of African spiritualities could be an opportunity of 'mutual enrichment' between African spiritualities and Christianity.


I think that this is a good comprehensive work that took into consideration the various nuances of the complex topic addressed. It is recommendable to all and sundry.

kizito Nweke

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Renaissance of African Spiritualities vis-à-vis Christianity: Adopting the Model of Mutual Enrichment, Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, June 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0008429819830360.
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