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AN EVALUATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF FOREIGN RELIGIONS ON THE SURVIVAL OF THE-AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 6
1.3 Purpose of the Study 7
1.4 Research Questions 8
1.5 Research Hypotheses 9
1.6 Significance of the Study 9
1.7 Scope of the Study 10
1.8 Definition of Terms 11
CHAPTER TWO: LITEREATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction 12
2.2 The Concept of African Traditional Religion (ATR) 12
2.3 Objectives of Traditional Religious Education 15
2.4 Values of Africa Traditional Religion 17
2.5 Moral Values of African Traditional Religion 23
2.6 Relationship between Morality and Religion 29
2.7 The Influence of Western Education on African Traditional Religion 32
2.8 The Survival of African Traditional Religion 38
2.9 problems Besetting the study of African traditional religion 49
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction 53
3.2 Research Design 53
3.3 Population of the Study 53
3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique 54
3.5 Instrumentation 54
3.6 Reliability of Instrument 55
3.7 Validity of Instrument 55
3.8 Procedure for Data Collection 55
3.9 Method of Data Analysis 56
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.0 Introduction 57
4.1 Bio-Data of Respondents 57
4.2 Responses to the Questionnaires and Research Questions 60
4.3 Testing of Hypotheses 68
4.4 Summary of Findings 72
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Introduction 73
5.2 Summary of the Study 73
5.3 Conclusion 74
5.4 Recommendations 75
1.1 Introduction/Background to the Study
The task of defining religion remains very cumbersome, owing to the fact that there is no one definition that is all-encompassing and all-embracing. Many authors and scholars have postulated various definitions of religion according to their individual fields of study. For instance, the sociologist, defines religion sociologically, the philosopher also sees religion in the philosophical perspective, while the anthropologist describes religion in anthropological manner (Coker, 2000). This suggests that there are many definitions as there are many scholars in the field of religion. While some have defined religion from within the discipline, others have looked at the subject from outside the discipline.
Notably, in the social sciences, most of the scholars are of the opinion that there is no generally accepted or acceptable definition of religion. The controversies over the definition in the words of Otite and Ogionwo (1985) are sometimes non-scientific, these relate to the psychological complexes and to the personal theological commitments, and based on attitudes of individual social scientists. Durkheim (1916), sees religion in the sociological perspective, being a sociologist. He therefore, defined religion as "a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things; which means to say, things set apart and forbidden - beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a church, all those who adhere to them".
Sigmund Freud, another scholar outside religion, defined it as "a mental defence against dangers from nature, earthquakes, floods, diseases and so on", Thus, suggesting an explanation of these forces by the ideas of powerful beings behind them and operating in them similar to the beings that man met in the society. From within the subject-matter, Nabofa (1979) described religion as "man's effort in satisfying certain emotional needs by establishing and maintaining cordial relationship between himself and the supersensible world, and his fellow man".
Unlike the Christianity and Islam, African traditional religion (ATR) presupposes an indigenous religion of the people which has been existing before the advent of both Christianity and Islam. The religion in question has come to stay, and has become a cultural heritage for the African people (Otite and Ogionwo, 1985). As Mbiti (1976) puts it, religion came into existence in consequence of the thinking and experience of our forebears. Contrary to Christianity and Islam, the African Traditional Religion cannot be boastful of any founder, as the religion came to be as a consequence of their response to the mysteries surrounding them; such as mountains, trees, rocks, and other created things. This led to the formulation of religious ideals and beliefs. To the Africans, one basic thing is a common consensus concerning the total culture and religious belief, rituals and ceremonies of the African people. There is also a common concept about God or the Supreme Being. The name of God permeates several palaces based on the native tongue of the individual locality. Consequently, ATR is a living religion as well as a revealed religion (Mbiti, 1976).
Christianity as a foreign religion emphasizes the love of God and man as revealed in Jesus Christ. Historically, this religion arose as a sect within Judaism in the first century A.D., at the time when the Roman Empire was at its peak. History has it that, it was one of the religions started by a historic leader of great spiritual insight. Christianity as a religion per se, did not merely spring a remarkable individual, but from centuries of religious experiences under an organized religion. Christianity is unique in that, it adopted into its own canons, the sacred scriptures of the antecedent religion. However, the most single and distinctive feature of Christianity is the character of Jesus Christ around whom it revolves (Achilike, 1998).
Islam, according to Adeosun (1980), is a foreign religion. It is a complete way of life as religion. It s a guidance provided by Allah, the Creator of the universe for all mankind as it covers all things people do in their time. Islam per se, is an Arabic word which denotes "submission" and "obedience". Submission is Allah's command. In other words, Islam will then means a total submission to the will of Allah without any exception. Allah which is an Arabic word, is the proper name of God. No wonder Islamic adherents use the world Allah rather than God. Obedience in Islam, means putting Allah's commands into practice. Submission and obedience to Allah bring peace, and this shows why Islam also means peace (Momoh, 2000).
The African Traditional Education is the oldest form of education, in Nigeria. It preceded both the Islamic and Christian education which are foreign or non-indigenous types of education. The indigenous or traditional education is a form of education which has been used to train children and youths in the family and the village. It also still goes on in the family, but then the school takes over the greater responsibilities of socialization in the case of those children who go to school (Adeleke, 20001).
The African Traditional Religious education prepares the individual physically, morally, intellectually and socially so as to make the individual good enough to shoulder the responsibilities of life (Thakar and Ezenne, 1980). Moral training is given by making the individual respect his religion believe in traditional gods, in the supernatural power and in Supreme Being. In African Religious Education, there are restrictions against stealing, lying and cheating. If rules are broken, misfortunes may befall the offender, but he may also be punished by the society. The elders of the village may administer punishment to offenders and the latter accept it in good faith. Intellectually, the individual develops the power of reasoning through story-telling, folklore, riddles and proverbs much of calculation is done orally, and many useful concepts are memorized to apply in new situations. In some environment, also problems do crop up and the thinking is exercised to solve the problems.
The Western type of education was closely associated with Christianity, it did influence some of the traditional norms and beliefs. Christianity as a foreign religion believes in only one God and not 'many gods and goddesses as in the ATR Society do. According to Uzodike (1980), initially, the pupils from the traditional homes must have lived in the different worlds, one dying and the other being born. By and large, many traditional believes have been replaced by few beliefs and a belief in one God, particularly amongst the Christians and Muslims. The impact of the foreign religions such as Christianity and Islam has been felt in doing away with practices like cannibalism, killing of twins and human sacrifices. These practices were not common, but their occasional occurrence provided enough grounds for the western societies to look down on upon African cultures and traditions. For instance, Christianity brought out the western culture and education in Nigeria and this has created a new class of educated people who could understand each other's opinions or point of view and could overcome ethnic and local differences more easily than those who had no common basis to guide them.
Another influence of foreign religions like the Christianity and Islam, is that they brought in their wake, the mastering of foreign ideas and concepts communication with foreigners became easier. Even the struggle for freedom in many counties, including Nigeria, was helped by the acquaintance with the western concepts like democracy, equality and justice. According to Anyanwu (2000), there are many people who believe that the foreign culture, which evolved as a result of foreign religions, has had bad effects on the people in the traditional society. They feel that youths educated in the western type of schools tend to disrespect their elders and seniors. They indulge in the forbidden activities like premarital sex, resulting in pregnancies and abortions, homosexuality, prostitution, drug abuse and additions, and excessive alcoholic intake and so on. Even though these vices are not directly encouraged by the western religion through education, it argued that books, mass media, and travels abroad do introduce youths to bad aspects of western culture and civilization (Ayo, 1988).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
No doubt, the negative influence of the foreign religions such as Christianity and Islam cannot be overemphasized. This is because, these religions brought the western education in Nigeria and the western education brought the western norms, values and culture. For instance, due to the advent of foreign religions, cultures, values and orientations in Nigeria, many youths including adults in Nigerian society, have embraced these foreign values and cultures so much that they no longer respect the traditional values, norms and cultures that are inherent in the traditional religion.
Before the adherent of foreign religions, Africans attached great importance to morality such as doing good, respecting authority and parents, obedience to law and order, avoidance of things that are taboo and dissociation from forbidden activities in the community, are no longer observed by individuals in the Nigeria society. These days, stealing, prostitution, disobedience, violent demonstration, incestuous acts, corruption and other practices that do not respect the African cultural heritage are perpetrated because of foreign religions, education and culture. This study examined the influence of foreign religions on the survival of the Africa traditional religious education.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main objectives of this study were to:
1. find out the extent to which foreign religions influenced traditional religious education.
2. examine whether Christianity has negative impact on the survival of traditional religious education.
3. Investigate the extent to which Christianity has contributed to development of the Nigerian Society with particular reference to Ogun State
4. determine the extent to which Islam has contributed to development of the Nigeria society with particular reference to Ogun State
5. find out whether traditional religion has contributed to the development of the Islam and Christianity.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised in this study:
1. Do foreign religions influence the African traditional religious education?
2. Has Christianity contributed positively to the survival of traditional religious education?
3. Has Christianity contributed negatively to survival of traditional religious education?
4. Has Islamic religion contributed positively to the survival of traditional religious education?
5. Has Islamic religion contributed negatively to the survival of traditional African religious education?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were tested in this study
1. will not significantly influence the survival of traditional religious education.
2. there will be no significant negative impact of Christianity on the traditional religious education.
3. there will be no significant influence of Islamic religions on traditional religious education.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be beneficial to the following individuals:
1. Students will have clear insights into the influence of foreign religion on the survival of traditional African religious education in Nigeria. This is because the findings and recommendations would enable them to be conversant with the foreign nature of Christianity and Islamic religions and the kind of influence they have on the sustenance of the African traditional religious education.
2. Literate Christians and Muslims would be abreast with the findings and recommendations of this study. This is because; it will help them to understand the nature of Christianity and Islam as foreign religious education. This study will help both the Christians and Muslims to know some of the foreign religions in Nigeria and how best to avoid them
3. The populace will be able to appropriate that foreign religions have had great impact on traditional education.
4. Researchers and other religious scholars would find this study very significant, in the sense that it will be a reference material for them to carry out further research on the topic.
5. The society at large will no doubt, benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study, because it will serve as an eye opener to the general public concerning, the impact of foreign religions have on the survival of African traditional religion.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The Scope of the study will be limited to Ogun State. Although, the incursion of foreign religions has affected religious beliefs and practices of Africans in general, the study will be restricted to Ogun State because of time and Financial constraints.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms will be operationally defined:
1. African Traditional Religious Education: This is the religious education that is traditionally based. This is a religion that promotes the values, norms, and orientation of the African people.
2. Christianity: This is the religion and worship of the Christians. It is the Christian faith.
3. Islam: This refers to the faith and worship of the Muslims
4. Survival: This is the State of continuing to live or exist. It is the continuing existence of things or objects.
5. Perspective: This means the art of drawing solid objects on a flat surface so as to give the right impression of their relative height, width, depth and distance etc.
6. Influence: This is the power to affect somebody's character, beliefs or actions through examples, fear, admiration etc.
7. Impact: This refers to collision, force exerted by one object when striking against another etc.