THE PLACE OF RITUALS IN AFRICAN RELIGIOUS MOTIF AND NIGERIAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

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Date

2020-01

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The Faculty of Humanities, University of Indonesia

Abstract

The notion of ritual is synonymous with virtually all religions. Thus, ritual is a dramatic transformation of the individual persons beyond the mundane by dint of social conventions which transcend class distinction with a sense of identity. As a re-enactment of sacred archetype, it strengthens and re-affirms the corporate beliefs, optimizes structure and re-invigorates the role of the individual in the society. Within the province of religion, ritual has primordial formality, transformative quality, sacred prototype and revitalizing sensuality which stimulates an awesome contrast with ordinary conduct. This primordial formality and transformative quality has made many Nigerian Pentecostals to believe that ritual motif does not exist in Christianity. The paper therefore adopts historical-liturgical and comparative approach with the view that ritual is not only most elaborate and celebrated in African religion but also among Nigerian Pentecostal believers. The paper seeks to posit that ritual is a paradigmatic intent and purpose of religion itself by applying symbols with intellectual and sensual images that promote individual with sense of identity. The paper therefore concludes that the place of ritual in all religions is incontestable.

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Keywords

African religion, Nigeria, Pentecostalism, Christianity, Comparative Analysis

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