African Indigenous Religious Response to Global Debate on Homosexuality

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Department of Religions, History and Heritage Studies


The global debate on homosexuality has been a major religious concern to different beliefs. This present work therefore acknowledges the abundance of literatures on global debates on homosexuality. Homosexuality, in the recent time, has taken different dimensions in several academic disciplines from religion, extending to politics and economic engagements. So far, the emphasis on the quantum of literature about homosexuality is either argument in favour of the phenomenon or against the idea. However, it is worthy of note, to say that, virtually believers of religions have attempted to contribute their quota to the argument or debate by taking an introspective look at the sacred writings of their respective religions. By way of filling a part of the lacuna in the literature, this study examines the sacred literature of the indigenous religion of the Yoruba people, especially, Ifa, in regards to homosexuality. It is noted that, Ifa, is the sacred genre for all the Yoruba divinities and the springboard on which the culture of the Yoruba people rests. The study as evinced from ija Literary Corpus established in strong terms, argument against the philosophical concept of homosexuality. The argument is generated from relevant stanzas of lJa corpus; which are hermeneutically explicated and analyzed. This becomes part of an epistemological consideration into the debate concerning the issue of homosexuality. The paper concludes that, although, there may be other positions on the issue of homosexuality, the sola scriptura of Yoruba traditional religious beliefs, is of the opinion that homosexuality is ungodly, unhealthy, immoral, unnatural and therefore forbidden; as such hampers development of individual, society and the nation at large. This is against the backdrop of Yoruba worldview that encourages the birth of children in perpetuity of the family. Furthermore, this study notes that while homosexual tendencies are abhorrent, homosexuals should not be rejected or stigmatized, rather they should be assisted to change their perceptions.



Homosexuality, Ifa, Literary corpus, Debate