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
It is an understatement to say that marriage is of utmost importance in African religion. In effect, marriage is widely acknowledged throughout the African continent as one of the most critical moments in a person's life, along with birth, puberty, and death. Marriage is a sacred rite of passage. This is the case because marriage is intimately linked with procreation. In fact, the main, if not only, purpose of marriage is procreation. In most African societies, marriage is not deemed complete until a child has been born. Likewise, a man is not a full man or a woman a full woman until they have given birth to a child. Marriage is an important institution in Africa because the survival and thriving of the whole community depends on it. It is sacred, cosmic drama in which all normal members of the community are expected to participate. This entry looks at the ...