Reincarnation As A Metaphysical Principle Of Explanation In African Traditional Thought: A Critique

  • Andrew F Unuigwomen Department of Philosophy, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria


Reincarnation is a belief taught by many of the World's religions. It is the doctrine of second birth to earthly life. It is held that though the physical body decays at death, the life-force, or soul or spirit reincarnates in another body on earth. It is as if our physical bodies are like a suit of clothes that has to be discarded for a new one when it is worn out. The belief in reincarnation has engaged the attention of great Western philosophers for ages. From Pythagoras through Epicurus, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, down to the contemporary period, varying views on reincarnation have been held. The belief in reincarnation also exists in African traditional thought. In this write-up, a critical exegesis of the African idea of reincarnation is our task. Attempt will be made to show whether there is a rational justifiable ground for holding this belief among the Africans. Our particular aim is first to examine the peculiar logic of reincarnation with a view to illuminating understanding of the phenomenon and discovering the value of holding the belief in reincarnation and then mount a rebuttal of the belief.
Global Journal of Humanities Vol.3(1&2) 2004: 15-19

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eISSN: 1596-6232