As keepers of law and order, the ancestors act as representatives of ethical values, traditions and activities (2007;333). Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (verses 19-21). These were ridiculed as fairy tales and belief in these was labelled as barbaric and primitive (2007;372). But ancestor work doesn’t mean just working with your grandmother or great uncle. Find those missing pieces of your identity with this transformative and powerful experience. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! Reference this. Daneel (2007;366) says that during the possession trance, the family may discuss their problems with the possessed medium; for they are actually talking with the ancestors. Faith in God as the all-powerful, all-merciful father, as creator and foundation of all being, has dethroned the ancestors from the human-made pedestal (2007;334). Mbiti observes (2007;365) that ancestor possession occurs in one form or another in practically every African society. God has provided ways of dealing with evil spirits. Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. In other cultural contexts, some people seek providence from their deceased ancestors; this practice is sometimes known as ancestor worship or, more accurately, ancestor veneration. In Africa, witchcraft is considered as anti-social and as something that systematically contradicts all the values of society. The Nigerian theologian, Idowu, states (2007;335): “Certainly, the cults of the ancestors do not constitute African traditional religion; and it is a gross error to equate them with religion â€¦ Thus the cults are a means of communion and communication between those who are living on earth and those who have gone to live in the spirit world of the ancestors”. Ancestral worship is a two-way relationship, in contrast to the cult of the dead which is one-way (2007;328). Previous genetic research showed that our species interbred with both the Neanderthals and Denisovans, with modern human populations outside of Africa still carrying DNA from both. The putting of Jesus Christ in the same category as ancestors as mediators between God and humanity, compromises the absoluteness and uniqueness of Christ (2007;373). Dr. Paige holds a degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. We will also look at reasons behind the strong presence of ancestor practices within Africa. During this period humans developed … But God is almighty and limits evil and their activities (2007;379). The foundational religion of many African groups seems to be ancestor worship. Such thinking was to be expected from people (missionaries) who had been born and bred in a world-view that sought to explain life in rationalistic and scientific ways rather than spiritual ones. This is however in contradiction with the Bible. In this essay we will focus solely on this “type” of ancestor group. Whether it be a political, religious or intellectual structure. The ancestors communicate with the living through various ways. African Ancestry helps people of African descent trace their ancestral roots back to a specific present-day African country and tribe/ethnic group. Back to Africa . In return, the ancestors reveal themselves through dreams by stating their names or through calamity, sickness, barrenness or bad luck, and so forth. Had a proper theological dialogue taken place between the missionaries and the people, undoubtedly the African Christian church scenario would have been different (1999;77). On the other hand, the ancestors also depend on the living in a sense that only if they are remembered, only if attention is paid to them through veneration and the offering of sacrifices, will they exist as ancestors (2007;329). VAT Registration No: 842417633. Though the ideal of mediation is crucial to the understanding of the role of ancestors, it is something that is still imperfectly developed in the African religious thought. Ancestors connect Africans to their beloved ones, bless their fertility festivals and intervene when spiritual blockages and polluting elements threaten order, happiness, health and life. An example being the transfiguration of Jesus on mountain accompanied by the spirits of Moses and Elijah (2007;382). Another common thing would be rice terracing, a brilliant way for our ancestors to respond to the challenge of their environment. Christianity is lived to either strengthen groups’ identity with the ancestors or free self from any attachment with the ancestors depending on two main factors. The western world-view was not just spiritually communicated, but also by political and even military action (2007;385). When the missionaries came to Africa they displayed a spirit-world denying attitude to their audience. Book An African Ancestry Family Reunion To Africa Today. There are literally trillions to connect with, and many are just waiting for YOU to reach out. Having passed through death, the ancestors are considered as able to communicate with God more effectively the needs of those alive. He uses the example of the building of altars upon which sacrifices are offered to the ancestors and that at such a ritual ceremony, there can be no doubt that the ancestors are invoked; they are the addressees of these prayers and the invocation of God is missing. A review of Jesus as “Honored Ancestor”, by Martin Munyao . Satan is the evil one which represents the embodiment of antithesis to the will and purpose of God (1999;71). The Lord is there and we should call upon him (Jer 33:3): “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not”. Anderson (2007;326) correctly observes that one of the functions of a diviner is to determine the identity of, and exorcise ‘evil spirits’. Witchcraft is described as the human embodiment of evil (2007;344), and the witch takes the place of the devil. Writing about the Bantu peoples in 1932, British anthropologist Audrey Richards, in … © 2020 African Ancestry, Inc. All rights reserved. Share this: Tweet; More; The Middle and Later Stone Age, which lasted from about 300 000 to 300 years ago in South Africa, was an important time for the African continent. Our only true mediator is the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ. In the Bible, there is near total absence of reference of interventions by the dead in the affairs of the living. Another reason why ancestor practices are common is to endure the hardship of life and to intellectually cope with existential crises and the frustrations that confound them. We've received widespread press coverage since 2003, Your UKEssays purchase is secure and we're rated 4.4/5 on reviews.co.uk. In Acts we have the account of salvation and the burning of evil books in public: “And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 1st Jan 1970 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you”. The vast majority of Americans of African ancestry in the United States are descendants of the 400,000 enslaved Black people forcibly brought to the New World prior to 1860. In these religions there is also the concept of a God, or Supreme Being, although it cannot be proved conclusively in all cases. Aug 31, 2020 - See the faces of the people of America’s past. Such a person does not fully understand the sufficiency of Christ and needs to mature in faith. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Ancestor worship is found in many cultures all across the world. This left the African people with the idea that God could not handle the hostile spirits that attacked people on a daily basis. If the living fail to understand the message of the ancestors, they employ the services of a diviner or isangoma who, as a link between the ancestors and the living is able to interpret the message of the ancestors for the living (2007;332). This gift is of absolute necessity to the body of Christ because it helps to keep the truth and avoid the destructive lies of evil. The general belief is that ancestors are nearer to God and have mystical powers (2007;333). One of the abilities or gifts of the Holy Spirit is to discern or see the activity of spirits in the unseen realm (1999;82). Satan tries to deceive us as an angel of light. Among the Zulu the ancestors are considered as mediators (between the Supreme Being) and nothing more. Genealogy research comes with many challenges, especially with regard to researching certain subsets of our ancestors. The missionaries left no room for supernatural realities such as earthly spirits and spirit possession, witchcraft, ancestors and magic. We then determine your present-day country and ethnic group (tribe) of origin in Africa. There is a view that states that ancestors are demonic manifestations meant to derail the faithful (2007;383). There have been mistakes in the past when it came to evangelising the African continent. Voice of Our African ancestors, The Bronx. Nyirongo (2007;334) explains the relationship between the living and their dead as “demonic illusions” because, according to him, it is impossible for he living to commune with the dead. In Col. 2:14 – 15 it is written: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them in it.”. No plagiarism, guaranteed! For the church there is a general feeling that the people have not been sufficiently armed to fight against witchcraft and sorcery in spite of many Christian teaching that have been thought (2007;351). Wikipedia defines an ancestor as: “…a parent or (recursively) the parent of an ancestor (i.e., a grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent, and so forth)” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancestor ,17 March 2011). A great truth of God’s providence is found in Php 4: 6-9: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. The gift of casting out devils is a precious endowment to the church (1999;83). Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. There are references in the Bible that prohibit the contacting of the dead (Dt 18:11). Looking for a flexible role? The cyclic model assumes the possibility of a reincarnation of the ancestor as a newborn. In traditional Africa however, ancestors are never referred to, nor considered, as evil spirits. The belief remains that there is an interaction between the invisible and visible worlds (2007;377). The tendency in South Africa is ancestors pass to linear time (2007;330). The gender of the person makes no difference whether a person can be an ancestor or not (2007;331). See more ideas about gods and goddesses, african, orisha. *You can also browse our support articles here >. In some African Initiated Churches, prophets can be used as a medium channel connecting the living and the dead. A second way of dealing with evil spirits is by means of exorcism. In Christianity this single ruler is called Satan, among other names. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Act 19:18-20). In the African religions there is also those who are called divinities who play the role of mediators between ancestors and the living. Study for free with our range of university lectures! Khatide (2007;336) is of the opinion that although most Africans prefer the usage of “veneration”, to “worship”, when it comes to ancestral belief, there are still practices that may tilt the argument to worship. In Christian churches, this could often lead to a dual-life or split-level Christian. Exorcism in the New Testament context is the act of deliverance of a person or institution or society from its bondage to evil. (add any others you wish to give praise to) The reincarnation of the ancestors in newborn babies is foreign to most of the peoples of Southern Africa. Among the visible beings were humans, animals and plants. The relation of the living people to their living dead has been described by scholars in various ways. You can view samples of our professional work here. There are similarities in the spirit world between the first-century New Testament communities and those of Africa, which makes possible some form of dialogue and a background for study (2007;377). The rational behind this is that the good use of magic will counteract the evil use thereof, if the user’s medicine is more powerful than that of the enemy. Browse our resources Discover your African American Ancestry. I want to write very briefly here about the various kinds of spirits that can be part of a shamanic calling and become your guides or possess you as you do the work of the ancestors. The living communicate with the dead by regular ritual sacrifice and invocation, the priest or officiant at which is the family head, or the senior group representative where ancestors of larger groups are being addressed (2007;332). A part of the cause of this is the inadequate western presentation of the gospel in the African context (2007;341). This caused many African Christians to return to traditional ways of resolving issues. Knowing where you're from is a critical component of knowing who you are. The invisible things included deities, divinities and ancestors. Join Face2Face Africa as we take a look at some breath taking traditional wears from tribes all over the African continent. Until now, the oldest evidence of human ancestors outside of Africa was in Dmanisi, Georgia. The belief in missionaries was that the converts to Christianity, after attaining some (western-based) education and religious instruction, would simply outgrow the idea of the existence of the spirit world, but this endeavour did not fully realize under the people for the past two centuries (2007;370). African Ancestry was founded in 2003 by Dr. Rick Kittles and Gina Paige in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kittles was one of the earliest geneticists to trace the ancestry of Africans through DNA testing. portions under the title The Hebrew Heritage of Our West African Ancestors, together with the rights to include our own editorial comments and supplementary information. As Africans are generally community-oriented people, it is understandable that the relationship between the living and the dead is appreciated and if at all possible maintained (2007;329). People resort to diviners and healers to supply them with protective objects against witch attacks (2007;350). Although there is the concept of evil forces, it’s not the same as the Christian view in the sense that there exists a single-ruler over all evil powers. The Freedom Series.. The calling to be a Sangoma or shaman is believed to come from various ancestor spirits and your direct ancestor spirits. The best place to start is, well, the place where it all started: East Africa, the cradle of human evolution. Most of the mainline churches are well aware of this need and that the current teachings are not fully adequate in assisting them to deal with witchcraft and the fear it brings. Among the visible beings were humans, animals and plants. A belief in ancestral spirits seems to be the most prominent feature in the African traditional religion because it always resurfaces in one way or another (2007;327). Although African scholars have done some work of the highest of quality in terms of the concept of God in Africa, not much research has gone into other spiritual entities and realities of the African people. We're here to answer any questions you have about our services. 1 year ago 5 min read. Copyright © 2003 - 2020 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. It’s possible with the use of medical DNA tests to reveal links to ancestors, much like it is used today to relate relatives. In the African traditional religions, ancestors were never considered demonic or as part of evil spirits (2007;383). In other words, an ancestor is a person who is deceased and of whom you are a descendent. Their views of the spirit-world is contrasted in many aspects against the New Testament teachings. Neanderthals settled in Europe--and some scientists argued that Europeans descend from Neanderthals, Asians from other hominids such as Peking Man or Java Man, and Africans from still other sources. The Certificates of Ancestry will be available in series. The special role of the ancestors is generally considered as that of being intermediaries between God and the humans or between the spirit world and the world of the living (2007;334). An ancestor is also someone who is remote or distant. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! 'S largest database of African descent trace their ancestral roots back to us in African. 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