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
Moses Obene Biney
Punishment generally refers to the act or instance of imposing a penalty on a person or group of persons who are in breach of the laws, rules, or customs of a society. In many African communities (despite the existence of modern judiciary institutions), African traditional religion functions as an important source of normative moral behavior and social conduct. It does so mainly through the imposition of taboos or prohibitions and provides sanctions for their infraction, as well as procedures for redemption. Punishable offenses in traditional African communities or societies range from grievous ones, such as the practice of sorcery and witchcraft and murder, to less egregious ones, such as falsely accusing a neighbor of wrongdoing or ...