The Contemporary and Oldie Misconception On Religion by Akinwale Peace Akindayo, Philip Peace.
Religion is a bound or a tie that connects people or physical men to God or metaphysical beings. – Akinwale Peace Akindayo.
However, historically, Africa was/is said to be full of notorious religious people, that is, "Africans are Notoriously Religious." This is quite sympathetic as it may seem and obviously, it is, but taking a sharp look at the old mode/mood of the phase/face in which religion was practiced, we'll see that the way it was worshipped or taken into practice is quite different to the present mode of worship, therefore, Religion is always new and said to be modern though the major content is not or never different, nevertheless, Religion is to be a Giant Whale that owns the sea, the Earth and the World in actual fact because the world revolves around Religion. Obviously, Religion is a means of getting to know the true concept of prayer which is generally or lamely said to be a means of communicating to God.
However, we have different philosophical view, Scholarly view, Theoretical view and Writers/Researchers/Observers view about Religion.
Karl Max was a German Philosopher and he defined Religion as the "Opium of the Masses", that is, it is a dose or a sedative given to the Masses. To elucidate, Karl found himself in a society where Class Struggle rules, where distinction and social classification was wholeheartedly embraced, thus, the rich exploit the poor and make them suffer, but the Scripture's word in Matthew chapter 5 verse 5, that reads thus, "Blessed are the poor (in spirit): for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Now, we can see that he obviously mis-termed the true meaning of that verse, but he continued to back up his argument saying that the poor people of his time believed in the verse and thus refused to revolt against the ruling arms because they believe that they have their hope in heaven, that is, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. That is why he saw and embraced Religion to be the " Opium of the Masses".
Sigmund Freud defined Religion as the "Return of the Repressed" in his book, the Totem and Taboo. "Return of the Repressed" means when someone has done evil and he felt the guilt, he becomes remorseful...he got his theory from a seemingly nonfiction; A man has many wives and as a result, he has many children. As a result of this, the children became jealous/envious of their father and they later kill him. After killing him, they took their mothers on a sex ride and used their mothers to satisfy their sexual urge, after their satisfaction, they come to their real sense and questioned themselves what the sex of thing is all about, thus, they concluded that they derived nothing in it and they got remorse about it, therefore, they went to their Father's Graveyard and began to bow down to it as to say they're sorry...
That is perhaps why he, Sigmund Freud said "Religion will die a Natural death after man has learnt to face the world scientifically". He said that in his book, " The Future Of An Illusion." However, from that word, I (we) can deduce three things that have a crucial part to do with the phase people see/take Religion. (1) if it's said that Freud is an 'Atheist', I won't disapprove.
(2) if it's said that Religion is a Natural illusion that will die, I'll disapprove too.
(3) If it's said that Religion is an opposite to scientific reviews or research, I'll not say a NO!
Before I buttress those 3 things, let me quote from other scholar on my list.
Euhemerus was also a Greek Scholar and a Writer and he defined Religion as "the art of Deification". Deification means a process whereby an object is raised to the status of a god.
Now, taking a look at Euhemerus' perspective, he said Religion has a lot to do with Deities(Deification). We have numerous views from different old time scholars and they seem to have defined Religion to their own suitable sense as it has an effect on their society and obviously, their view, about the term Religion.
Euhemerus has discovered Religion in another term too, we can say Religion, as in the true definition of Religion has no first-hand similarities from the first two definitions.
Well, let me say more to each;
1. Religion is obviously not the "Opium of the Masses" as Karl Max said. Religion has nothing to do with being contented with unnecessary and inhumane treatment from a co-human just because he rules in the ruling party and has a distance between the poor because he is rich; thus, the rich use the poor to make their own end meet while the poor is lacking in needs, that is not it! Religion doesn't preach stupidity, it preaches Holiness and Right attitude to work, well, I know some people will say the right attitude they had in the time of Karl Max is what is now making them subject and fail to revolt to their inhumane exploitation, no, that's not it, they'd only believed a misinterpreted verse in the scripture(Matthew 5 verse 5), the spirit is different from the body so there is obviously a difference between being a fool and being fooled. The people in the days of Karl max are not fools but they're being fooled and they bound themselves under the bondage of being a fool and thus they became fools that were fooled with foolish sentiment and unrealistic realities that was professionally misinterpreted; if we take a look at it, it is obvious.
2. Sigmund Freud defined Religion as the "Return of the Repressed", however, I won't say this isn't right but trust me, Religion is more than being repressed, it is more than that, Return of the Repressed is just a part in the true meaning and context of Religion. Therefore, he has not defined it thoroughly correctly, it is thus defined in a half way to something clearly avoiding the real and true definition of Religion. He now goes on say " Religion will die a natural death after man has learnt to face the world scientifically", to me, this depict the man as someone who loose the utmost interest in calling God the Supreme Being, however, he portray Religion as the thing that will fade away when all natural aesthetics and ceremony that is said to be attached to Religion is gone. However, for his definition and defence, it is a big NO to the rule of the real context of Religion that all of us have a knowledge of.
3. Euhemerus defined it as "the act of Deification". Now, I've said it that Deification means a process whereby an object is raised to the status of a god. Therefore, Religion has taken another pole from here and it's going to be considered based on what Euhemerus has said.
Contextually, we obviously have different Religions in Africa as a whole but the major ones we practice are;
(1) Indigenous Religion which is also called African Religion or African Traditional Religion
Now, Indigenous Religion: without much ado, Indigenous is to understand an inborn or nativity intrusion in a region. Some believe that African Religion is said to be practical and from fact from their age that "Africans are uncompromisingly Religious"(as said by Awolalo and Dopamu in their book, West Africa Traditional Religion) which means that Religion is part and parcel of every African person. Indigenous Religion is really the indigenous belief from people, that emanated from the peoples' beliefs as part of the world view, cultural belief system which serves as culture, norms and conventions from time memorial, thus, Indigenous Religion is the traditional religion that was passed on to us by/from our forefathers through the use of (a) Oral Transmission (b) Proverbs (c) Liturgy (d) Pithy Sayings (e) Songs (f) Moonlight Sayings. All these are the clear picture of belief and mode of learning the basic of Traditional Religion.
Indigenous Religion also has five beliefs;
(1) Belief in god
(2) Belief in divinities
(3) Belief in ancestors
(4) Belief in spirit
(5) Belief in medicine(charm) and magic.
This is the clear picture of what the African Traditional Religion is all about, however, to go against the views of said Scholars, it's obvious that Religion is not a result of Opium/dose to rend the Masses silence when exploited and used nor does it deduce the Return of the Repressed but it does interprets "the act of Deification". However, having consent to Euhemerus belief about Religion, we can all see that he only gave a sided definition of Religion as to be believed by the Indigenous Religious People, it has nothing to do with the other major types of Religion and that made his theory a one sided definition of Religion.
Islamic Religion is one of the popular religion practiced in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, it however deals with a religion originated with/from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad; its followers are Muslims, that is a brief definition of the Islamic Religion. However, the Oldie has proved different theories and here, it obvious that it has nothing to do with Deification nor Return of the Repressed nor the Opium/ dose to restrict the freedom of speech of the Masses.
I'm coming back to this, since it has no unacceptable prove to me at a moment.
Christianity is the last most practiced Religion that is also practiced by Africans. Basically, Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ as it has been recorded in the Bible as the sincere...
However, it has been said by J.S Mbeti, a Kenyan Theologian that "Africans are notoriously religious"; that means we go widely against (or head over heel against) the true concept of the true religion, how true is that?
E.B Idowu in his book, Olodumare, he said "in all things, Africans are religious." Now, based on the recent and contemporary word from a man from this world...it is obviously different to the belief of Freud as the return or the Repressed as well as Max's view that Religion is the "Opium of the Masses", also different to the concept of Deity which has been explained one sided to the basic and general suitable definition of Religion, what then is the true correlation of Religion especially that has highest significance to this modern world?
Though, E.B Idowu said Africans are religious, that means we don't really practice the true meaning of Religion, we only carry it on our heads as a means of recognition?
G.O Abe said Religion is the provenance and the consummation of Africans", that is, in the beginning, it was Religion, along the line, it's Religion and at the end, it's also going to be Religion. This concept of theory/belief is affirmatively okay as it's even written that the "word was from the beginning,...." thus, we need no much ado about discussing the untrue aspect of that as it is obvious that Religion is basically the most compulsory and ethical thing that is generally embraced by the Masses.
However, A.G Ofo also buttress the point by saying "Men start off with Religion, Man carry along with Religion and arrived at Religion". That means Religion is part and parcel of us as Africans and it is compulsory to have a definite Religion not because of the belief but because of the mystery yet to be unravelled as the true Religion but presently, the true Religion is the...
However, whatever man attains is attached to Religion, it has religious perspective and thus, follows the trend of Religion in it actually sense.
Hitherto the Oldie times to this present age, Religion has became a unique thing and has an identity with a supernatural being that is beyond human capacity or reasoning.
Religion is the only supernatural and natural aesthetic, belief and practical presentation of connectivity between the physical man with natural flesh and the Supernatural Being or God.– Akinwale Peace Akindayo
Thus, the belief of the Oldie antagonize my theory to the actual fact beyond Religion, thus, Religion stands in its unique way by the way we worship the different assumed and believed Supernatural Beings though it is often believed to have a lot of correlations with their Supreme Power and Authority. In simple sense;
Religion is the only supernatural and natural aesthetics and practical presentation of connectivity between the physical man with natural flesh and the Supernatural Being or God which shows our closeness to the Supreme Being. – I'm Akinwale Peace Akindayo, often referred to as Philip Peace.
...what then is the true correlation of Religion especially that has highest significance to this modern world?
To answer this, obviously, we can see Religion operates in a way that is different from the comprehension of man, thus, the uniqueness that distinguishes Religion from the Oldie beliefs to the modern belief that it is the natural and inborn transmission and respected mode of worship, -which has a super marvelous way in which Religion is practiced and appreciated in Africa,- the modern belief tells of the difference in the society with different backgrounds whereas, there are similarities with the belief of the society in which everyone serves or worship his/her Religion without any theoretical disapproving and bandages, about the contemporary age and belief in the disbelief of the Oldie.
Truly, in simple word, Religion is the tie that connects man to God.
Thanks for reading.
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