Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Zetla K. Ehi
The term soul commonly connotes a human element that is not physical, but vital, energizing, and indestructible. It coexists with the living human body from birth, or before, and remains until the time of death. Subsequently, and according to the cultural myths of a society, there are a number of tasks and responsibilities performed by the soul. Although African religion presents a great diversity of thinking regarding the number of souls possessed by a host, for example, there are nonetheless common threads as a survey of several African traditions will reveal. The ancient Egyptians described several elements that make up a person. The Ba is the element that most fits the definition of soul. It was eternal, dwelled in heaven, could change its shape, and was able to speak to its mummy. The Ba resided in the Ka , which is best described as the individual's personality and as having ...