African Journal Of Religion, Philosophy And Culture (AJRPC) Vol. 1, No. 1 2020
About This Edition
To buy or subscribe, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial: Enter African Journal of Religion, Philosophy and Culture - Munetsi Ruzivo
We are happy to unveil the maiden edition of the African Journal of Religion, Philosophy and Culture (AJRPC). The journal is a bi-annual, double-blind peer reviewed periodical that aims at publishing articles of high quality in the areas of religion, philosophy, culture and related fields. AJPRC approaches its subjects of focus in a holistic manner. For instance, the study of religion will not only be limited to traditional disciplines such as ecclesiastical history, theology and history of religions but will also include emerging areas that contribute new vistas in our understanding of religion as a broad discipline. Similarly, in the philosophy component, the journal welcomes studies and reflections not only from the traditional fields of Metaphysics, Epistemology, Logic and Ethics but also on emerging areas with a bearing on Africa and beyond. In the same vein, the culture component welcomes researches not only on traditional subjects such as Sociology, Psychology and Anthropology that have contributed to our understanding of culture but also on insights from emerging areas. The journal aims at being a credible avenue for the exposition, development, and criticism of vital religious, philosophical and cultural ideas and theories relevant to Africa. It accepts papers all year round.
We are happy that articles in this maiden edition cut across the journal’s three core focus areas of religion, philosophy and culture.
In ‘An Appraisal of ‘Dialogue of the Truth’ and Inter-Religious Dialogue in Nigeria: A Muslim View-Point, Mujahid Hamza Shitu argues that while inter-religious dialogue is basically aimed at achieving a better human relation, peace, tolerance and mutual respect while acknowledging doctrinal differences, some Muslim thinkers see a dialogue encounter not aimed at defeating what they consider as falsehood and affirming what they believe to be religious truth as a futile effort that is not worth wasting time on.. He notes that precisely because most of the bodies that spearhead inter-religious dialogue in Nigeria are Christian, some Muslims consider promotion of inter-religious dialogue as subtle means of evangelism by Christian groups, which consequently aggravates suspicion by some Muslims on the real motives of such dialogues. Mujahid Hamza Shitu’s paper also examines the proclamation of religious truths and particularism in doctrinal matters and the extent to which it can allow genuine dialogue between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria.
Itumeleng Mekoa in ‘Ancestors as Guardians of Morality in African Traditional Religious Thought’ argues that most studies in African traditional religion tend to focus on the religious, to the neglect of the moral aspects of the relations between Africans and their ancestors. He poses questions such as: Do Africans traditionally possess their own indigenous ethical systems? Are such ethical systems and values able to withstand the criticisms of modernity? How do the living dead/ ancestors act as guardians of morality in traditional African societies? Can the African society remain loyal when the living dead/ ancestors are out of the picture and no longer play the role of moral guardians? The paper seeks to provide answers to these questions and more.
In ‘Karl Marx and the Labour Theory of Value: Implications for Social Justice and the Common Good in Society’, Casimir Ani, Emmanuel Ezeani and Nsisong Ukpong seek to establish the continued relevance of Karl Marx’s theory of surplus value and its implications for social and common good in contemporary societies. They stress that the aim of their paper is not to develop a new labour theory of value but to “re-evaluate the philosophy of Marxism, its dialectical links to social justice and the impact on the common good of humanity which Marx has so much invested his socialist struggle through his concept of the labour theory of value.”
Chris Vervliet in his opinion piece ‘A Personalist Approach to the Dialogue of Civilisations: African Ubuntu, Social Catholic Personalism and Muslim Shakçânyya Compared’, evaluates the philosophies of the (South) African Ubuntu, European personalism and Muslim Shakçânyya. He argues that while these philosophies originated in different settings, they share common concerns about the human being –the “Person” - and the relation between the individual and the society. He also argues that these three philosophies share common approaches along three dimensions - the tension between the individual and the community; the tension between traditionalism and modernism and the tension over the human status: whether it should be elevated or subject to nature. He contends that across centuries and civilizations, these three types of tensions have stimulated political and philosophical thinking (or alternatively fuelled conflict). He contends that an awareness of the common concerns of these three philosophies could contribute to the dialogue of civilizations.
In ‘Culture and Economic Development in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges’, John Kuada argues that while some aspects of African culture enhance economic development in the continent, other aspects of African culture tend to constrain development. He posits that “insight into the development-constraining attributes of African culture will help policymakers and business people design policies and strategies that will improve the overall performance of African economies.”
Kgothatso B. Shai in ‘Higher Education, Scholarship and Ethics in South Africa: An Afrocentric Analysis’ revisits his interdisciplinary debate with Sebola who in 2018 argued that African journal editors and their peer review processes are a major reason for the dearth of new scholarly knowledge in the continent. He accused Sebola of Eurocentrism and sought to extend the discourse by “engaging Afrocentricity not just as a defence against Sebola’s Eurocentric approach to the matter, but as an important view that can be used to promote African scholarship which remains under-studied.”
We are grateful to both the contributors and reviewers of the papers in this maiden issue of the journal. As they adage says, a journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step. With this maiden issue, the African Journal of Religion, Philosophy and Culture has taken a bold step forward.