Rethinking Monotheism: Some Comparisons between the Igala Religion and Christianity
The Igala religion believes in the supreme God (Ọjọ) as well as the ancestral spirits (Ibegwu). This belief system gives rise to the question of whether the Igala religion is monotheistic or polytheistic. Isaiah Negedu has recently argued that the Igala is a peculiar form of monotheism, namely inclusive monotheism. In contrast, this essay compares the Igala understanding of ancestral spirits with the Christian notions of angels and patron saints, and argues that the question of whether the Igala religion is monotheistic or not concerns how we define monotheism and is therefore merely verbal and will not promote our understanding of the Igala religion.