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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Re-encountering African culture in living Christianity in my father's home
Author:Onwubiko, Alozie OliverISNI
Year:2005
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Volume:19
Issue:1-2
Pages:91-107
Language:English
Geographic terms:Africa
Nigeria
Europe
Subjects:culture contact
African culture
Christianity
Abstract:This essay is an exploration into the possibility of going beyond the usual juxtaposition between African traditional culture, and cultural imports from Europe in the colonial context and after. A pivotal place in the argument is occupied by Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart', and, like in that book, the emblematic situation in the argument is that of the Nigerian Igbo, 19th-20th century CE. While admitting the hegemonic racism inherent in colonial cultural imperialism, to respond, on the African side, with an equally race-based anticolonial counter culture is no solution. Instead, we should be proceeding from cultural monologue to dialogue. The author argues that African Christianity, even though initially burdened with hegemonic Eurocentrism and racism, may develop into such a dialogical situation. This requires both mental decolonization and a reassessment of African traditional religion, and in fact implies a form of biculturalism, leading on to transculturalism. In the dialogical strategies advocated, the author identifies, as a hurdle, the paradigmatic Igbo stance of the 'dimaragana'. 'Dimaragana' is a figure in Igbo language and culture. It refers to one who knows what to do, can do it, has the means to do it, but refuses to do it or chooses the wrong means because of self-imposed inhibitions. The author extends this emblem to universalist critics of African identitary positions including ethnicity, such as Howe and Appiah, but nevertheless finds considerable truth in the latter's work. Notes, ref., sum. in English. [Journal abstract]
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