The Human Being and the Being of Human Among the Akan people of West Africa. Towards an African Theological Anthropology.
Keywords:Akan Anthropology, Theological Anthropology, Human Being, Onipa
The concept of an existential numinous being, known in Akan terminology as Onipa, provides the basic framework upon which Akan socio-religious and political structure is constructed. Onipa is the Akan term for the human being. The Akan rationalistic conception that “all human beings are the children of God and none is a child of the earth” establishes three basic ontological realities for understanding Akan anthropology. First, the human being has a numinous substance (ontology) and not only natural. Second, the human being does not live in isolation but has a relational ontology. And third, the human being has a functional ontology according to the ways of God. This paper gives a considerable amount of space to discuss these aspects of the human being and how they form the basis for the development of Akan theological anthropology.
Aye-Addo, Charles S. Akan Christology: An Analysis of the Christologies of John Samuel Pobee and Kwame Bediako in Conversation with the Theology of Karl Barth. Eugene, Or: Pickwick Publications, 2013.
Bane, Theresa. Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland Co, 2012.
Cole-Turner, Ronald. Transhumanism and Transcendence: Christian Hope in an Age of Technological Enhancement. Georgetown University, 2011.
Danquah, Boakye Joseph. The Akan Doctrine of God: A Fragment of Gold Coast Ethics and Religion. London: Cass, 1968.
Ephirim-Donkor, Anthony. “Akom: The Ultimate Mediumship Experience Among the Akan.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 76, No. 1, March 2008.
Ephirim-Donkor, Anthony. African Religion Defined Book Cover African Religion Defined: A Systematic Study of Ancestor Worship Among the Akan, Second Edition. Lanham: University Press of America (Rowman Littlefield Group), 2013.
Ephirim-Donkor, Anthony. African Religion Defined: A Systematic Study of Ancestor Worship Among the Akan. Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 2010.
Greer, Joanne M., and Moberg, David O. (Eds). Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion: Vol. 9. Stamford, Conn.; London: JAI, 1999.
Gyekye, Kwame, “African Ethics.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2011/entries/african-ethics/.
Gyekye, Kwame. African Cultural Values: An Introduction. Philadelphia, PA: Sankofa Pub. Co, 1996.
Gyekye, Kwame. An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: The Akan Conceptual Scheme. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Helen A. Neville, Brendesha M. Tynes, and Shawn O. Utsey (Eds), Handbook of African American Psychology. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE, 2009.
John Pobee, Toward an African Theology. Nashville: Abingdon, 1979.
Louise Muller, Religion and Chieftaincy in Ghana: An Explanation of the Persistence of a Traditional Political Institution in West Africa. Zu¨rich: Lit Verlag, 2013.
Magesa, Laurenti. African Religion: The Moral Traditions of Abundant Life. Orbis, Maryknoll 1997.
Molefi K. Asante, and Abu S. Abarry (eds), African Intellectual Heritage: A Book of Sources. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.
Muller, Louise. “Ghanaian Films and Chiefs as Indicators of Religious Change among the Akan in Kumasi and Its Migrants in Southeast Amsterdam”, in Robert W Hefner, John Hutchinson, Sara Mels, Christiane Timmerman (eds), Religions in Movement: The Local and the Global in Contemporary Faith Traditions. New York: Routledge, 2013.
Muller, Louise. Religion and Chieftaincy in Ghana: An Explanation of the Persistence of a Traditional Political Institution in West Africa. Zu¨rich: Lit Verlag, 2013.
Wiredu, Kwasi and Gyekye, Kwame. Person and Community: Ghanaian Philosophical Studies I.Washington, D.C: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 1992.
Wiredu, Kwasi. “The Moral Foundations of an African Culture.” In: Person and Community: Ghanaian Philosophical Studies, vol. 1. Washington, D.C: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 1992.