In most cases, the earth is conceived as a living thing, a goddess, “Mother Earth.” According to Mbiti, the earth is symbolically viewed as the mother of the universe, while the heavens/sky are seen as its male counterpart. Furthermore, the issue is whether a strict order of retribution cannot be tolerated if human ambition gets in the way of realizing enduring moral virtue and well-being. The spirit medium is required to possess moral probity and integrity. According to Paul, (2004: 2) ATR is the indigenous religion of the Africans which was handed over from one generation to another by word of mouth until recent attempts at documentation. In other words, he shows that the sense of the divine was not something introduced to Africa by missionaries or by anyone else; that the knowledge of God in African religion was not much different from the idea of God that Christian missionaries preached in Africa; and, more specifically to our purpose here, that belief in God engendered a moral response that for centuries before Christian arrival in Africa directed moral life and interaction on the continent and among its peoples. While the universe has a beginning, many Africans believe that it does not have an end—either spatially or temporally. Traditional African medicine is also directly linked to traditional African religions. Therefore, the universe has dimensions of order and power as follows: first of all, there is order in the laws of nature. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. This order, established by God, guides the functioning of the universe, preventing it from falling into chaos; and it ensures the continuance of life and the universe itself. (1). Belief in the ancestors presents the idea of reciprocity in the African traditional moral world. The departed come into the picture because they are the roots on whom the living stand. Other spirits with a significant role in maintaining the African traditional moral world include ancestors and lineage spirits “who operate in specific social contexts where their will is expressed through misfortunes,” and some other spirits “who do not act directly but who rely on human agents to effect their will.” These spirits underlie the power of spirit mediums who, as mediators between space and the human world and by virtue of the moral authority this confers, are able to arbitrate between living human beings. Both faith traditions have established a deep rapport around their fundamental element - God, he writes. African, religion is literally life and life is religion’ (Mbiti, 1997: 1-2). This is the destiny of man as far as African ontology i s concerned ."' For a long time it will continue to exist; it will not be easily wiped out by these other religions or by secularism.. John S. Mbiti: The Prayers of African Religion, SPCK, London and Orbis Books, New York, 1975, p. 162.. Mbiti, ibid.. Mbiti, op. Thus, it is because of the existence of this order that different communities have worked out a code of conduct. He has been visiting professor at many universities in Europe, America, Canada and Australia and has travelled widely in many countries. Second, Africans believe in a moral order given by God, stipulated by the ancestors in the past. These traditional reads are brimming with spirited characters and positive values--but with a little extra excitement and bite, so hold on to your hats! According to him, the belief in spirits and ancestors is the most important element of African religions. Among the Chewa, according to James Amanze (2002:146) the ancestral spirits not only This power is not accessible to everyone, and in most cases it is inborn, but the person has to learn how to use it. In 1900 some 58% of the population adhered to “pure” African Religion. Human beings are the link between the heavens and the earth, between the visible and the invisible universe. J ohn S. M biti is Professor of Theology and Comparative Religion in Makere University College, Uganda. In short, the question is whether the notion of “mercy” exists in the moral order of African Traditional Religion and whether the sacrifices of African religion amount to an expiatory understanding in African religious thought. Neither of these world religions is seen as providing any revolutionary impetus to either traditional or colonial societies. Moral culpability is always on the shoulders of humanity.” The same hierarchy evident in the relationship between God, the ancestors, and humanity is also present in the relationship between the animate and the inanimate world, the former being superior to the latter. As judge, God is understood to uphold this standard by ultimately punishing its violations and by rewarding the righteous (usually in some eschatological domain). In this second edition, Dr Mbiti has updated his material to include the involvement of women in religion, and the potential unity to be found in what was once thought to be a mass of quite separate religions. Unlike Christianity and Islam, African religion does not have a sacred scripture (Mbiti, 1969). Mbiti regards African Traditional Religion(s) (ATR(s)) as monotheism and as a praeparatio evangelica, and maintains that the Christian God is the same as the God worshipped in ATR(s). 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