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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Religious symbolism in innary rites of passage in relation and Christian baptism
Author:Umoren, U.E.
Periodical:Orita: Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
rites of passage
Abstract:This article looks into the question of how Christian baptism can be made more relevant to the African on the basis of the West African rite of child naming. The theoretical perspective adopted is based on processual symbolic anthropology, and takes the rite of naming as a rite of passage marked by preliminal, liminal, and postliminal stages. Empirical data were collected from 1974 to 1975 in an Annang village in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The author examines the meanings of the three major symbols in the Annang naming ritual as a rite of passage, namely the 'Oso Obot' shrine, the sacrificial cock, and the name 'Idio' given the child, on three levels of interpretation: exegetical, operational and positional. On the basis of the rite of child naming, suggestions are presented for the Christian initiation of baptism: the African concept of creation as processual should be used in the catechesis of baptism; since the relation between sacred and profane is not seen in terms of dichotomy but of cooperation, prayers said at baptism should be wholistic; baptism should baptize the African community as well as the African individual; relevant symbols should be used in baptism to meet the African love for the use of symbols. Ref.