What is an african religion

5.1 African Traditional Religions (ATR)

The ethnic religions Africa is mainly used in the English-speaking world with the Umbrella term "African Traditional Religion" (ATR). They include one Variety of religious traditionsthat exist in the most varied of forms in the Sub-Saharan Africa gives.

Among them are probably those west african religions the Yorùbá and the Fõ have become best known since they many new religions in Afro America brought forth that today too Orisha / Vodou-Complex" to be named.

This expression Orisha / Vodou-Complex" has only recently been coined as an umbrella term for the many regional forms of the African and Afro-American religions, whose origin in the Yorùbá-Cultures of Southwest Nigeria(òrìsà) and -Cultures of Dahomeys and Togos(vodu) is in West Africa (cf. Kubik 1996).

Both Orishas like the Vodusor.Lwas it is about transcendent / immanent spiritual beingswhose culture-specific concepts are difficult to translate into Western languages ​​due to the lack of adequate equivalents. So far they have mostly been translated into German as gods or deities.

About the universal dimension ofOrisha says Ulli Beier (1991) in an interview: “The Òrìsà is not - like the Catholic saint - a mediator between God and man. He's part of God, an aspect of God ... Die Yorùbá take to heart the fact that human beings are individually different in nature and consequently each responds to different aspects of the divine being. Everyone should Òrìsà worship who fits his own personality. The Òrìsà is comparable to Jung’s archetype; the worship of the right one Òrìsà helps the believer to define and strengthen his own identity. Very complex personalities can do more than one Òrìsà be connected. This basic conception goes hand in hand with great tolerance towards the beliefs of others, even outside of them Yorùbá -Religion. Both Christian and Muslim gods were both originally as additional Òrìsà welcome as newly discovered aspects of God. "

According to the interpretation of Susanne Wenger (the Austrian artist who took the initiative to renovate the sacred groves of Oshogbo / Nigeria in the 1950s and went to the Òrìsà Religion of the Yorùbá initiated) Òrìsà “Excessively individualized, sacred, goal-oriented potentials of elementary, spiritually fertilizing forces,“ gods ”, whom we know and encounter from an inner perception of the senses ... who live“ gods ”. They too are subject to the dimensions of time, corresponding to the "sense of form" of the era of the knower. The spiritual spaces of inspired consciousness are shaped by "modernity" - sacred and profane. Since the being of the 'gods' manifests elementary-truth-form-individuation and, as such, intense life, they represent reality in itself ”(Wenger, in Denk 1995: 18f).