n Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions - The theory of forces as conceived by Igbo-Africans




In addition to the Bantu conception of vital force as it influences human behavior; there are also other aspects of African life where the further conception of forces can be detected. This work will concentrate on force (ike) as conceived by Igbo Africans. Some of them, any way, are already contained in the Bantu notion of forces. They are:

(i) Force as given by ancestors

(ii) Force from charms and magic
(iii) Force obtainable from sacrifices
(iv) Force in prayer, sacred objects and places

There is a conception of the Supreme Being as he who gives life, or he who gives force to other beings that are subordinate. Not only in Africa, all over the world, people have the belief that gods have power, force or energy (ike) over things that men cannot control or understand. These beliefs teach that gods are responsible for the creation of the world and the continuation of life in it, and that they control important events such as birth, death, disease and success. Gods, unlike men, do not die; they live forever and restore force to created things that lost theirs.


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