Africa’s identity crisis: Religion as prime culprit
Is religion the ultimate, proper, sustainable or veritable solution to Africa‟s identity crisis? Can religion be the rightful tool for re-uniting Africans to their original selves? No. African traditional religions (ATRs), Islam and Christianity – Africa‟s three foremost religions – are each deeply responsible for Africa‟s identity crisis. Rather than religion, a culture of free philosophical inquiry, scientific and technological enterprise (despite their shortcomings) is key to retrieving Africa‟s identity. This culture exalts the liberalist and individualist model of identity and promotes the ideals of Nietzsche‟s „master morality.‟ Its anti-Christian moral stance, notwithstanding, this paper encourages Africa to pursue and embrace Nietzsche‟s „master morality.‟ To this end, Africa, the paper holds, needs purge herself of her communitarian identity together with its corresponding „slave morality.‟ Adopting the critical analytic methodology of philosophical studies, this paper critiques Africa‟s three major religions by pointing out ways they give root to Africa‟s identity crisis. The paper sub-divides into four sections: Section I, which comes after an introduction, explores the concept and problems of identity. Section II examines religion and its correlations with identity. In Section III, effort is made to analytically and critically demonstrate the culprit-ness of Africa‟s three major religions as ultimate causes of the continent‟s identity crisis. Section IV seeks the way forward from this crisis, after which conclusion is reached.