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Achebe, Freud, Durkheim and the encounter of sacred traditions: A religious exploration of things fall apart

Owoyemi, Musa Yusof (2012) Achebe, Freud, Durkheim and the encounter of sacred traditions: A religious exploration of things fall apart. British Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 10 (11). pp. 175-187. ISSN 2046-9578

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This paper explores the magnum opus of Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, through the lenses of religion by looking at the encounter of Christianity with Traditional African religion as recanted by the author in the novel. However, in going about this, the paper, using the critical and textual analysis methods, tries to put the question of the religiosity of some of the characters in the play to the scrutiny of the concept of the origin of religion as proposed by Sigmund Freud and Emile Durkheim in their works. The idea is to see if religion in the Ibo Africa community and as recanted by Achebe have their origins in the propositions of these two western scholars. The result, based on the narration of Achebe shows that in terms of Freud, this is far from the truth and it is hard to fully grand his theory in the African religions as posited by Achebe - although one finds some semblance of his submissions in this epic encounter of religions in Achebe's novel and in the society and character of some of the actors, but nonetheless, it does not support his proposition fully as expected. As for Durkheim, to large extent, his propositions conform to the narration of Achebe in the novel and support his theory but it cannot fully explain the religious rigidity of the main character in the novel Okonkwo. On the encounter of the two religions, the paper posits that it was an encounter which destabilizes an otherwise stable and progressive society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Religion, Christianity, African Religion, Ibo, Tradition, Encounter
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: College of Arts and Sciences
Depositing User: Mrs. Norazmilah Yaakub
Date Deposited: 22 May 2013 08:09
Last Modified: 22 May 2013 08:09

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