18. One to Rule Them All: God in African Philosophy

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Is traditional African religion in some sense monotheist, despite the worship of many divinities?



Further Reading

• M.K. Asante and A. Mazama (eds), Encyclopedia of African Religion (London: 2009).

• M.K. Asante and E. Nwadiora, Spear Masters: Introduction to African Religion (Lanham MD: 2007).

• J.B. Danquah, The Akan Doctrine of God (London: 1968).

• K. Gyekye, An Essay on African Philosophical Thought: the Akan Conceptual Scheme (Philadelphia: 1987).

• E.B. Idowu, Olódùmarè: God in Yoruba Belief (New York: 1973).

• E.B. Idowu, African Traditional Religion: a Definition (Gateshead: 1973).

• A.M. Lugira, African Traditional Religion (New York: 2009).

• J.S. Mbiti, Concepts of God in Africa (London: 1970).

• J.K. Olupona, African Religions: a Very Short Introduction (Oxford: 2014).

• P.M. Peek (ed.), African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing (Bloomington: 1991).


Thomas Mirus on 25 December 2018

Great episode! Loved the very

Great episode! Loved the very philosophical idea of God as Cleaver, and also the legend of men and the moon. Merry Christmas!

费潇潇 on 27 December 2018


good job!

Anderson Graves on 28 August 2019


I enjoy your podcasts.  How can I get a transcript of an episode?

In reply to by Anderson Graves

Peter Adamson on 28 August 2019


Thanks, glad you like them! This question is actually covered in FAQ (see the link at the bottom of the page).

Jorge Herrera on 2 January 2023

technical issue; Africana podcasts; episodes 18 & 19

Dear Mr. Adamson,

Please advise if there is a technical issue pertaining to the ability to access episodes 18 and 19 of the Africana series. Such problem is not experienced in subsequent podcasts. The coincidence in the number of views reported appears to be statistically implausible.


In reply to by Jorge Herrera

Peter Adamson on 3 January 2023

Technical issue

It looks like the problem is a bad security certificate on these episodes on the Podbean feed. We'll try to sort it out!

UPDATE: should be fixed now.

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