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Exploring Recent Themes in African Spiritual Philosophy

Diana-Abasi Ibanga


There are theoretical and thematic shifts in African spiritual philosophy literature on the meaning of spirituality. On the one hand, traditional conceptions  of spirituality are based on the dimensions of transcendence and supernaturalism. Common themes include ritualism, totemism, incantation,  ancestorism, reincarnation, destiny, metempsychosis, witchcraft, death, soul, deities, etc. On the other hand, the evolving trend appeals to naturality and  immanence. Common themes include sacrality, piety, respectability, relatability, existential gratitude, sacred feminine, etc. This work explores these  recent and developing themes. It aims to show that the understanding of spirituality in African modernity is increasingly linked to psychological traits  expressed in attitude and behaviour as against traditional understanding that focused on cultural/ religious practices such as ritualism, ancestorism, and  deities. The analysis reveals that recent studies link the experience of spirituality with wholeness and interdependence, and a recognition of one’s place in  the connective web of other existents in nature