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Journal of Religion and Human Relations

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Judeo - Igbo traditional religious conception of sin: socio – religious implications on Igbo society

Charles Okeke

Abstract


Theword sin ismore of a religious termthan ordinary. It is basically an action of defiance. That is, an action through which one deviates from the correct way or through which one misses the mark. This paper looked at how the Jews of theOld andNewTestament periods understood the concept of sin in their society. Comparatively it looked at the concept of sin in Igbo traditional religion aswell as the implications of sin on the religious society of the traditional Igbo man and woman. Since the traditional Igbo had no written record about the origin of sin, this paper looked at the origin of sin from Biblical point of view. Following the story of fall in Genesis 3, it became evident that sin originated from the fall of man.As a result, thewhole life ofmen, both individual and social, became a struggle, and dramatic, between good and evil, between light and darkness, and everyone feels as though bound by chains. The Jews see sin as a rebellion against God. In Igbo traditional religion, sin is aj? ihe, ihe ?j?? (literally, it means bad thing), ns? an? (abomination). The community abhors it. It is ar? (taboo) to commit ns? (prohibitions). The traditional Igbo sees ar? as norms, the breaches of which whether voluntary or involuntary unleash some mystical sanctions not only on the individual but also on the entire society. In both religions, that is Jewish and Igbo traditional religions, sin degrades, dehumanizes and pollutes the society.




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