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
Epistemology deals with questions such as, “How did the universe come into existence?” “Where do human beings come from?” “Does God exist?” “Is there life after death?” “How should one live in order to join the village of the ancestors?” “What does it mean to be a good human being?” These types of questions stand at the core of African religious worldview and suggest that knowledge is an important component of religion. Confronted with the thorniest questions of human destiny in the midst of a mysterious universe, Africans have developed since time immemorial a complex epistemology that enabled them to find satisfactory answers. These African ways of knowing are grounded in African religious traditions, especially in creation myths. Despite the idiosyncrasy of particular religious traditions, the religious phenomenon as such is generally composed of a practical dimension, a theoretical dimension, and a sociological dimension. This entry looks at African epistemology ...