Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy

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Extending the frontiers: Justice and the reincarnated person in Akan thought

H. M. Majeed


It is quite common to hear talks about someone 'disturbing the peace of the dead‘, causing injury to the dead‘ and the like, as if to say that the dead have rights equal or close to those of the living. On the contrary, not much is heard specifically of the rights of those who are not just human but also claim or are claimed to be reincarnated persons. These are persons who, having  experienced both life and death before, believers of reincarnation would assert we are fortunate to have in our midst. This paper does not chronicle or supply an inventory of evidences for claims of reincarnation; rather, it explores the philosophical relevance and implications of the concept of rebirth, as well as whether and how we – as individual human beings – and our legal systems (especially in the Akan context) could be 'just‘ to an alleged reincarnated person in the normal human world. In this regard, questions about personal identity and of the general notion of the afterlife, and how they could influence the dispensing of justice will be looked at. The focus, nonetheless, is on Akan conceptions of justice and reincarnation.

Keywords: Justice; Person; Reincarnation; Akan Through; Identity

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