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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Some implications of the Dangme concept of 'ss' for moral philosophy and moral education
Author:Kudadjie, Joshua N.
Year:1997
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Volume:11
Issue:1-2
Pages:3-27
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:philosophy
African religions
Abstract:The Dangme live in the southeastern corner of Ghana and comprise a homogenous ethnic group speaking a common language, Dangme. According to the Dangme, human beings are not just biological, physical animals; they are also spirit and spiritual beings. A person is a composite being with three main aspects: the physical body, the spirit, and the soul. The 'ss' is the message, errand, parting word, or farewell address given to the soul ('kla') before it leaves its 'huanim' or world of spiritual pre-existence. This is what determines what type of being the 'kla' will be. It is chosen partly by Kuajamo (the creator God) and partly chooses freely of itself (hereby embodying the classic dichotomy between free will and destiny/determinism). In fact, the term 'ss' is often translated as destiny in English, but it is not as rigid as the words destiny or fate would connotate. In Dangme understanding moral behaviour can be adequately explained in terms of a person's conduct and in his or her being. Consequently, discourse on moral education, moral responsibility, the enforcement of morals and moral recovery can be enhanced, and more effective methods to make people moral can be fashioned, if account is taken of the Dangme insight of reality, as exemplified in their concept of 'ss'. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in French (p. 2).
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