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John Hick’s Philosophy of Religious Pluralism in the Context of Traditional Yoruba Religion

O N Olawoyin

Abstract


This article is an interpretation of John Hick’s philosophy of religious pluralism in the context of traditional Yoruba religion. The ultimate goal of the article is pragmatic, viz. to provide a theoretical basis for peaceful coexistence among different religions in Nigeria. The methods adopted to achieve this objective are hermeneutical/analytical and comparative. Hick’s theory is interpreted and analysed before it is applied to traditional Yoruba theology. His concept of the Transcendent or Ultimate Reality is equated with the Yoruba concept of the Supreme Being or Olodumare. Both Hickean Ultimate Reality and Olodumare are conceived as transcategorial. However, Yoruba divinities are equated with Hick’s personae and impersonae of the Real: like the personae and impersonae of Hickean Ultimate Reality, the divinities are manifestations of Olodumare. This interpretative method can be used to account for differences in the conceptions of the Supreme Being among competing religions in Nigeria, especially Islam and Christianity in their conceptions of God.

 

Keywords


John Hick, pluralism, Yoruba, Nigeria, Olodumare, divinities



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