Relationship Between Gods And Humans Essay

Relationship Between Gods And Humans Essay

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1. The relationship between gods and humans in many African religions are very unique. Many African religions are henotheistic meaning that there is one supreme god or deity who is more removed from normal human life and then there are many lesser gods or deities who are much more heavily involved in day to day human affairs. Because of this religious structure, many individuals who practice African religions pray and offer sacrifice only to the lower deities since the their High God does not concern them self with the trivial matters of humans. The Dogon god Amma provides the best illustration of this example: According to their myth of creation, Amma made the world out of mud and clay and then forcibly claimed it as his mate. A single jackal was born from this relationship, which is considered unfortunate in Dogon religion because twins are ideal; it was said that reason a single jackal was born was because of the way Amma unjustly raped the Earth. After this initially unsuccessful Union, Amma and the Earth had a another more successful Union in which they gave birth to supernatural twins who were named the Nummo. These twins then became very important lesser deities because they are very involved with the day to day life of the Dogon, allowing Amma to retire from this realm. This shows that the relationship that the Dogon have with the Nummo is more personal and intimate than the relationship the Dogons have with Amma where the relationship is more distant, but still important.

2. Many indigenous religions of Africa view both birth and death as transitions between this world and the spirit world, which are heavily connected with each other. Although they are commonly referred to as ancestral spirits, this is inaccurate because...


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...e religions of these two peoples is that they view death and birth as transitions between this realm and the spirit realm; however, reincarnation isn’t as prominent as it is in some North American religions. Interaction with ‘Ancestral spirits’ or the spirits of the dead is also an important aspect of both of these religions. In both of these religions, the spirits of the deceased are called upon for guidance and can be also be utilized to assist in the healing of an individual. However, there is an important distinction between these two religions when it to comes to explaining how a spirit becomes good or bad: In indigenous North American religions, this depends solely on how devoted that person was to their religion and praying to their gods, but in indigenous African religions, it has to do more with how you are treated in the human world at the end of your life.

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