International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 309


The living-dead (ancestors) among the Igbo-African people: An interpretation of Catholic sainthood

Nwafor Matthew Ikechukwu
  • Nwafor Matthew Ikechukwu
  • Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 10 March 2017
  •  Accepted: 31 March 2017
  •  Published: 30 April 2017


Studies have shown that most of the precepts, ordinances and rituals in Christian religion are more of resemblances than novelties of what were the cases in the original religion of the African people. The belief in the communion of the Saints, and its surrounding practices stressed especially among the Catholic group is coterminous with the veneration of the Ancestors in this latter religion. The affinity that exists between these two beliefs calls for a special attention, and reinvestigation especially this period when inculturation and proper adaptation of Christian culture are emphasized in the evangelization of people. This study will apply a hermeneutical approach in its study. At the end of its theoretical sample analysis, it will suggest that those ancestors whose names are traceable be recognized among the local worshipping communities who know them and who are strong adherents of this belief. It calls for a new approach in the study of the ancestral veneration with some reservations applied in the absolute condemnation of the practice.

Key words: Christian, catholic, Africans, communion of the saints, Christianity, inculturation.