Key to African studies is understanding the knowledge systems of the continent and her diaspora. The representation and understanding of Africa are dependent on the observer’s definition of knowledge. Afrocentric knowledge is comprised of a collection of political, religious, and indigenous belief systems. Religious Beliefs and Knowledge Systems in Africa begins with deconstructing the Western philosophy of knowledge before defining and exploring the epistemic disciplines of Africa. It transcends postcolonial critique, through an Afrocentric approach to knowledge divided into three key themes. The first of these is the African worldview, exploring knowledge through eldership, witchcraft, and divination. This is followed up by kingship ideology and epistemologies, exploring discussing how politics, religion, and belief shape African society. Finally, the world religion chapter examines Christianity, Islam, and Pentecostalism in their impact on African ways of knowing. This book calls to action new fields of study in universities, encouraging a greater understanding of African ways of knowing through more nuanced disciplines.
Toyin Falola is Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair Professor in the Humanities and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Nicole Griffin is an international early childhood education specialist with an interest in African Studies. She has worked at various education projects in Tanzania and is currently a graduate student at University College London.
1.Introduction: Beliefs and Knowledge Systems: Power, Eurocentricity, and Bias
Part I: African Worldview and Knowledge Systems
2. Witchcraft as Ideology and Knowledge
3. Elderhood and Ancestorhood as Ideas and Beliefs
4. Ifa Divination and Society
Part II: World Religions and Knowledge Systems
5. Quranic Epistemology
6. Biblical Epistemology
7. Pentecostalism and its knowledge system
Part III: Kingship Ideologies and Epistemologies
8. Kingship: Ideology and Epistemologies
9. Sacred Kingship: Power, Politics and Ritual Knowledge
10. Kingship and Creativity
11. Rethinking the disciplines: Africanity and Belief Systems
Religious Beliefs and Knowledge Systems in Africa is an intensive interdisciplinary and scholarly work that connects both epistemology and religion in African Studies.