By J.D.Y. Peel
The Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria are unprecedented for the copresence between them of 3 spiritual traditions: Islam, Christianity, and the indigenous oriṣa faith. during this comparative examine, immediately ancient and anthropological, Peel explores the intertwined personality of the 3 religions and the dense imbrication of faith in all facets of Yoruba heritage as much as the current. For over four hundred years, the Yoruba have straddled geocultural spheres: one achieving north over the Sahara to the area of Islam, the opposite linking them to the Euro-American international through the Atlantic. those exterior spheres have been the resource of contrasting cultural affects, particularly these emanating from the realm religions. despite the fact that, the Yoruba not just imported Islam and Christianity but in addition exported their very own oriṣa faith to the recent global. earlier than the voluntary smooth diaspora that has introduced many Yoruba to Europe and the Americas, tens of millions have been offered as slaves within the New international, bringing with them the worship of the oriṣa. Peel bargains deep perception into vital modern subject matters corresponding to non secular conversion, new spiritual activities, kin among global religions, the stipulations of non secular violence, the transnational flows of latest faith, and the interaction among culture and the calls for of an ever-changing current. within the technique, he makes an important theoretical contribution to the anthropology of global religions.
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Additional info for Christianity, Islam, and Oriṣa Religion: Three Traditions in Comparison and Interaction
C. 79 Here at last we can start to return to the initial puzzle: Akan resistance to adoption of the world religions, compared with Yoruba openness to them. For what that comparison of twentieth-century patterns of action showed is that even after the British had dismantled the structures of Asante state control, the Asante long retained a lively sense that the integrity of their society depended on the sanctions of the traditional religion. 80 It is utterly inconceivable that Yoruba Christians should have had to make such a protestation as late as the 1940s.
52 Behind the presentist ethnography of structural functionalism there still lurked the evolutionary schemes, based on Mode I comparative method, of Lewis Henry Morgan and Henry Maine. The dichotomy between segmentary lineage systems and states that was used as a static typology in African Political Systems was turned again into a description of process in the studies of political centralization. This was thus conceived as a process in which the decline of lineages was the essential condition of the state’s advance.
In fact, at least three distinct criteria seem to be involved. (1) All forms of political development appear to have entailed some concentration, an essentially spatial process by which the population and disposable resources of a region come to be concentrated at a power center. Such concentration appears to be a necessary but not a sufficient condition of (2) the sort of power transfer between institutions within the emergent center that the lineages-to-state concept of centralization is mostly about.
Christianity, Islam, and Oriṣa Religion: Three Traditions in Comparison and Interaction by J.D.Y. Peel