This book of chapters on Dialogue on Society and development in Africa: is a unique collection of papers delivered at the 2022 International Conference of the Association for the Promotion of African Studies on issues bordering on society and development in Africa. This work constitutes a contemporary dialogue on society and development in Africa. It is a monumental, learned, lucid, patient and comprehensive piece with contributions from scholars from different academic and cultural backgrounds that aims at unraveling the elements around the underdevelopment of Africa societies .It is a collection of papers by productive scholars. These are academics whose productivity is marked by happy versatility, rich variety, unfailing originality, consistent incisiveness, high voltage reasoning, limpidity of style and unwavering logic. This constitutes one of the most powerful reflections on society and development in Africa.
This book also observed that the existence of three major and often opposing religions in Africa-Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religions-makes it more difficult for the people to engage in meaningful inter-faith dialogue as adherents are deeply affected by religious identities and meanings. Even within a particular religion, theological disputes and denominationalism hinder ecumenism and open dialogue necessary for national development. It would appear that whichever way we turn, religious differences and its attendant crises are inevitable in Africa. Hence, the book recommends that religious post-conflict dialogue be adopted for peace and sustainable development. In this way religion can be harnessed as a source of peace and national development instead of war and violence.
Having introduced the ideas in this book, it is very germane that we look at the methodological approaches the book adopts. The book is conceived from the assumption that for Africa to limp forward in terms of Education, Science and Development no one single approach will suffice. Hence, there is a need to incorporate a plethora of methods and approaches in a multidisciplinary engagement. This is what this book has achieved within its pages. This means that this book will be a valuable resource for both students and scholars in the field of education, philosophy, the sciences, and the arts.
Having given a cursory look at the ideas that resonate in this book. The book adopts a multidisciplinary approach in the engagement of the issues that bother African Culture, Religion, and development. This approach is expedient due to the multidimensional nature of the issues under investigation. The beauty of this approach is that it gives expression to all identified voices and methods within the African intellectual geography. As such the book will serve the interest of all scholars who are genuinely interested in the revival, critique, and invigoration of African traditional culture and religion as one of the bases for engendering sustainable development in Africa.
The contributors in their different chapters showcased a paradigm shift in thinking and writing as they engaged practically Philosophy and Development in their scholarship-dialogue. The beauty of it in seen more as their thoughts are rightly narrowed into African realities with much African bent. Apologetically, if Africa must still develop beyond the contemporary obstructive shackles and glaring chains of the Western World as well as the existing momentous vicious circle of global underdevelopment, she simply needs her own Philosophy of Education, precisely an African Philosophy of Education, that is pertinent to her culture, circumscriptive of her world-view and very typical of her age-long academic cum educational quagmires. Therefore, the African development advocated for, simply rests more on a well defined, mapped-out Africanized curriculum through a functional African Philosophy of Education as a result of authentic and enduring African Philosophy of Development.
The present lecture on Igwebuike: The Operative Condition of African Philosophy, Religion and Culture- Towards a Thermodynamic Transformative Ontology is the researcher's contribution to the ongoing discourse on the operative conditions of reality. Igwebuike, in the researcher's perspective, is the moving spirit and the pivot upon which African philosophy, religion and culture revolve, thus, the key to the understanding of African Traditional religion, culture and philosophy. It is thermodynamic because of the interdependence and complementarity of the elements of the African universe, which characterizes the African way of thinking, feeling, talking and responding to various human conditions. Igwebuike which is an Igbo proverb and proper name forms the 'tool box', the trajectory system and the practical art for the development of this inaugural lecture.
The concept Igwebuike began first as a methodology and philosophy. Gradually, its philosophical elements began to have serious implications for theological discourse, especially with the increasing need to do theology that arises from the philosophy of the African people. Such a theology would always have an inescapable element of philosophy, speaking to people in their own native context, because it is expressed in categories of thought that arises out of the philosophy of the African people.
In this work, Igwebuike is employed as a unifying concept of African thought, especially, that aspect concerning the human person’s conception of the spiritual and material universe in which he or she lives. It is an explanatory theory or principle that interprets the puzzle of our complex relationship with the non-corporal world and human social life, that is, major social institutions that ensure social continuity and group identity, and further, underpins the epistemological manifestations of the human person’s universe.
Igwebuike is essentially a transcendent complementary comprehensive systematic effort to understand the structure and dynamics of reality ultimately for the purpose of giving honest answers to fundamental questions or opinions to questions that arise within the arena of asking questions and questioning answers, selfless enlightenment and furthering of human happiness. In this search for truth, Igwebuike, within an integrated systematic framework, strives beyond all forms of particularities, peculiarities, paradoxes and contradictions and espouses the path of complementation, therefore, showing how realities can relate to one another in a mutually harmonized nonabsolutistic mode.
Writing on Traditional Religion is wittingly or unwittingly, writing on two major histories; first is the history of ancestral religion; that is, writing the story of the source and religious lifestyle of the ancestors. The second is writing about the story of the origin of the religious history of the current practitioners of that religion. In this book “A Hermeneutic Approach to African Traditional Religion, Theology and Philosophy”, Prof. Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony O.S.A writes both the story of African Traditional Religion and that of the votaries thereof through the lens of hermeneutical principles.
As described by Prof. Innocent Asouzu, this book is another recent important contribution in the discourse on African Philosophy. Among other things, the work handles some of the major recurrent themes that constitute what has come to be known in African philosophy as “the great debate”. What is remarkable, though, is the novelty and creativity with which the author approaches his themes. Over and above all, he handles these themes within the border context of later developments in African philosophy. This alone brings much freshness in a book of this kind and makes it very interesting to read.
This book is a collection of twenty-five topics and themes celebrating the richness of African philosophy through the life, times and philosophy of a robust scholarly life and work of Prof. Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony O.S.A. The authors draw widely on their experience with Prof. Kanu as well as his thought as expressed in his publications and especially his philosophy: Igwebuike.
This book of readings is designed to accomplish two tasks: to philosophize on Igwebuike and to honour Professor KANU, Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A. These two tasks or goals go hand in hand because Igwebuike is Professor Kanu’s philosophy. The book clearly demonstrates why Kanu deserves honour as an African philosopher who has introduced a way of doing African philosophy. It is an approach of doing philosophy that takes into account African ontology and cosmology.
In this book, scholars of different hues and academic endeavours have made excursus into the origin, originator, meaning and relevance of Igwebuike philosophy to contemporary African philosophical scholarship and African societies. Research shows that the brain behind Igwebuike philosophy that is gradually becoming a major part of African philosophical engagement is incontestably Prof Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu, O.S.A. Igwebuike itself is a philosophical principle that is drawn from African primordial practice of solidarity and complementarity