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Why does a person suffer? What brings


suffering to a man?

1.Role of fate
2.God¶s reminder to the mankind
3.Because of the sins man has committed
4.It is a test for those who are closer to God
 Role of fate overpowering freewill.

 uffering, a major thematic concern.

 he concept of suffering is an important


part of their religion; Christianity.

 We were promised suffering. hey were a


part of the program. We were told, µBlessed
are they that mourn¶ by C. . Lewis.
 ou must submit to supreme suffering in
order to discover the completion of joy.

 uffering makes you bitter or better?

 It draws you closer to God.


  person who suffers should have the
following qualities:

1. trong faith in God


2. Patience
3. Hope
4. he power to sacrifice
 he concept of suffering in Christianity and
Islam:
1.Comparison of Jacob with Hazrat Ibrahim
(. 
2. n episode taken from the Quran.

 Jacob¶s patience compared to our


generation¶s reaction to suffering.
p  
     

  
 Religion holds great significance for the
fricans
 It is the structure around which all the
other activities are built
 he frican society has strong religious
and traditional beliefs
 Religion is life and life is religion
 o written account of frican religion
 Certain codes of conduct followed by
people and passed on from generation to
generation
 It is a mixture of tribal customs and
Christian beliefs
 God is considered the upreme Being
 Jacob hears the Voice of God when he is
in misery
 Jacob strongly believes in the presence of
God but when he tells his wife about it,
she says:
³But who is this lord«there¶s nothing we
fricans have but the Lord«but no one
takes the Lord seriously«He doesn¶t
come down«´
 his duality in the beliefs and thinking of
people makes religion very complex
Πppp
 Customs and raditions considered sacred
and closely associated with religion
 Religious tradition of marriage and family
life: Jacob¶s marriages and family life
 arriage: the only choice for women
 he significance of traditional blessings:
people consider Jacob¶s blessings rich
and meaningful
 Hospitality considered a part of religion:
Jacob is very hospitable and always ready
to help the poor, sick, widows and
orphans
 Religious sacredness in the traditions and
the arrangement of the places of worship
e.g. Jacob¶s hut
 he idea of sharing and belonging
between people
 inging, dancing, music and celebrations
hold religious significance as depicted in
the story
 fricans celebrate and cherish life
 he significance of children in frican
religion
 ll these customs and traditions are
closely linked to their religion
Ô  p   Œ p
 fricans strongly believe in the existence of
spirits
 hey form the link between the physical and
the spiritual world
 Belief in the life after death
 In the story, Lebojang¶s spirit comes to warn
people against witchcraft and evil deeds
 eath and after-death rituals are also
significant as depicted in the story ³Heaven is
not Closed´
pŒp
 Both frican religion and society lay stress
on ethical and moral values
 Whatever is considered good in religion is
appreciated by the society
 he society discourages the practices
forbidden by religion
 Religion forbids immoral actions like
witchcraft, theft, adultery, black magic etc.
 Complexity arises because people know
what is right and wrong but still indulge in
unethical deeds
 Immoral practices of Lebojang and his
followers
 ³Witchcraft´ also depicts the fact that many
fricans believe less in God and more in
superstition and witchcraft
p  ŒŒ
 Just like frican religion, frican society
promotes the idea of sacrifice
 Inspired by their religion, the fricans
believe that in order to achieve something,
one needs to sacrifice worldly needs and
the dear ones
 It depicts the role of religion in their society
and how closely it is associated with their
beliefs and traditions
 Jacob sacrifices his personal and family
life to follow the orders of God
 In ³Looking for a Rain God´ the parents
sacrifice their children to get rain
 In ³Heaven is not Closed´ Galethebege
sacrifices her social life and religious
beliefs to marry Raloakae
  
pp
 he churches in Botswana ³have a bit of
glitter and dash. hey have funds behind
them. hey put both God and the evil on the
same altar and nothing happens except an
increase in wealth´
 ³nd which priest would give this permission
when it meant losing one of his pay
packets«´
 Lebojang makes money by exploiting people
in the name of religion
ù  pŒ 
 he story depicts some aspects of frican
religion
 he priest tells Galethebege that it was a sin
to marry an unbeliever
 ³he missionary was the representative of
both God and something evil´
 ³«a miserable religion which terrified people
with the fate of eternal damnation in hell-fire if
they were heathens or sinners«´
ù pŒŒp
 nother story that depicts the role of religion
 ³he society was both rational and Christian´
 ³he accounts for believing in it (witchcraft
were as solid as the reasons people give for
believing in God or Jesus Christ´
 he protagonist is a regular church goer
 Clash between the swana customs and
religion
 frican religion is forms the basis of the
frican society
 It has no strict features and the beliefs vary
from tribe to tribe.
 he role of religion is a little complex because
each tribe has it¶s own beliefs and traditions
 here is no written account of it and it is
found in rituals, ceremonies, festivals, myths
and legends, beliefs and customs
 frican religion defines the life of the
fricans
 It is a part of the frican Heritage
 Bessie Head, being an frican herself,
was well-aware of the significance of
religion in the frican society
 he highlights the essence of frican
religion in many of her stories
ŒpŒ p
 Religion holds great significance in both
the societies
 Religion as a means of exploitation
 Religion as the link between physical and
spiritual worlds
 he traditions of marriage, family life,
ethics and morality
 he role of rituals and superstitious beliefs
 Π
 www.tigweb.org
 www.afrikaworld.net
 www.ggoglebooks.com

 Introduction to frican religion second


edition by John .biti