The aim of this paper is to give an account of the interaction between Christianity and African Traditional Religion found in African Christian theology. The comparison is made with special reference to the respective conceptualizations of evil present in each of these traditions. The paper commences with a brief survey of the manner in which the notion of evil features in the Christian Scriptures and tradition. A brief outline of the African world and life view is then presented in order to provide the back-drop against which an analysis of the notion of evil in African Traditional Religion can be attempted. This analysis is mainly made with reference to recent research on witchcraft and spirit beliefs and is followed by a portrayal of the interaction between the traditional Christian views of evil and those found in African Traditional Religion. This interaction exhibits the twofold structure of rejection on the one hand and accommodation on the other.
In the few years since the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, evil has become a central theme in the media and human consciousness: the evil of terrorism, the evil of secular culture, concern for poverty, and climate change... Yet different cultures and religious traditions have different ideas of what evil is and what its root causes are. Although there is no massive clash of cultures, many disagreements and also conflicts in the world arise from the deep differences in views of evil.
This volume explores religious views of evil. Scholars from different religions and from various parts of the world describe how people probe the depths of evil—and by necessity that of good—from their own background in various worldviews. In their explorations, almost all address the need to go beyond morality, and beyond legalistic definitions of evil and of good. They point to the radical depths of evil in the world and in human society and reinforce our intuition that there is no easy solution. But if we can gain a better understanding of what people from other worldview traditions and cultures consider evil, we are that much closer to a more peaceful world.
The fact of evil continues to raises questions – questions about the relationship between God and evil but also questions about human involvement in it. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is now time to see the existence of evil not just as a problem for belief in God; it is a problem for belief in humanity itself as well. For human involvement in evil is not simply a matter of coping with evil but also concerns the fact that humans themselves often seem to do wrong and evil inevitably. Human finitude, ignorance and the unforeseeable consequences of good intentions as well as of neglect can often lead to tragedy.
This volume contains contributions from an equal number of male and female scholars in Western Europe and America. It contains discussions of thinkers like Kant, Kierkegaard, Barth, Weil, Levinas, Naber, Caputo and Johnson. It deals with issues like tragedy, finitude, critiques of Western culture, violence and God, and the question of whether theodicies are needed or are even honest. This volume offers an interesting survey of ‘wrestling with God and evil’ from a variety of perspectives in the philosophy of religion on both sides of the Atlantic.
One of the urgent tasks of modern philosophy is to find a path between the rationalism of the Enlightenment and the relativism of postmodernism. Rationalism alone cannot suffice to solve today’s problems, but neither can we dispense with reasonable critique. The task is to find ways to broaden the scope of rational thought without losing its critical power.
The first part of this volume explores the ideas of Enlightenment philosophers and shows nuances often absent from the common view of the Enlightenment. The second part deals with some of the modern heirs of Enlightenment, such as Durkheim, Habermas, and Derrida.
In the third part this volume looks at alternatives to Enlightenment thought in West European, Russian and Buddhist philosophy. Part four provides, over against the Enlightenment, a new starting point for the philosophy of religion in thinking about human beings, God, and the description of phenomena.