Integrity Research Journals

ISSN: 2636-5995
Model: Open Access/Peer Reviewed
DOI: 10.31248/IJET
Start Year: 2016

Episteme and the study of the African Religious Heritage: Towards the use of relative epistemologies   |   Article Number: 185BD50D1   |   Vol.3 (3) - August 2019

Received Date: 12 June 2019   |   Accepted Date: 07 July 2019  |   Published Date: 30 August 2019

Author:  Joel Mokhoathi

Keywords: Absolutism, African traditional religion, epistemology, relativism, religious heritage.

The African religious experience and heritage have been a focal point of enquiry for many centuries. Unfortunately, the depiction of such an African cultural and religious heritage have often been characterized by misconceptions and elaborate distortions. These appear to be a result of detached approaches that western scholars used in the interrogation or evaluation of the African religious heritage. Most of these approaches centred on cultural absolutism rather than relativism. In such forms of inquiry, western ideals and culture became a rubric or a point of reference for evaluating non-western cultures, specifically the African religious heritage. Using a qualitative research method, characterised by document analysis, this paper critically debates against the use of cultural absolutism rather than relativism in the evaluation of the African religious heritage, and advocates for the use of relative epistemologies for the exploration of indigenous religions.

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