Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, VOL 20 (1) 2012

Humanism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Reflections from a Humanist Organizer and Activist

Leo Igwe
Issued Date: 9 Oct 2013


Africa is a “deeply” religious society. Belief in God, the devil, spirits, and ancestors is strong and overwhelming. Faith in spiritual and supernatural beings drives and dominates the lives of the people and their popular explanations of phenomena encountered during the course of daily life. Hence traditional practices informed by religious dogmas and superstitions feature prominently in communities. And religious authorities wield enormous power and influence on education, legislation, morality, policies, decisions, and the entire life of the people. Historically there has been limited space for an alternative outlook and limited attention to reason, critical thinking, and common sense in public discourse. However, as I argue in this article, humanism in the African context is growing and gaining visibility. What I offer are the reflections of a humanist organizer and activist meant to offer brief commentary on humanism on the African continent.

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DOI: 10.1558/eph.v20i1.39


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