Journal of
Philosophy and Culture

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS AND PHILOSOPHY, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST
  • Abbreviation: J. Philos. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 0855-6660
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPC
  • Start Year: 2004
  • Published Articles: 41

Sin, punishment and forgiveness in ancient greek religion: A yoruba assessment

Folake Onayemi
  • Folake Onayemi
  • Dept. of Classics University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 01 February 2006
  •  Accepted: 28 February 2006
  •  Published: 31 March 2006

Abstract

This paper looks in particular at the special sin of hubris in ancient Greek religious thought. It examines what constitutes hubris and some cases in which hubris has been committed and punished. It demonstrates with examples that hubris is an unforgivable sin in ancient Greek religion and examines the reasons for this concept. Finally, the paper interprets the operation of hubris in Greek religion from the Yoruba concept of sin (ệṣẹ) and its attendant punishment. It concludes that whereas in Greek society the operation of hubris gives the signal that human beings are always plagued with the sense of being victims, in the Yoruba case, sin, punishment and forgiveness have humanistic principles that allow space for choices. The blending of the two concepts however can help in limiting man’s depravity and help man to govern himself.