A Philosophical Investigation of the Nature of God in Igbo Ontology


In its general task, philosophy as an academic or professional exercise is a conscious, critical, personal reflection on human experience, on man, and how he perceives and interprets his world. This article specifically examines the nature of God in Igbo ontology. It is widely accepted by all philosophers that man in all cultures has the ability to philosophize. This was what Plato and Aris- totle would want us to believe, but it is not the same as saying that man has always philosophized in the academic meaning of the word in the sense of a coherent, systematic inquiry, since power and its use are different things altogether. Using the method of analysis and hermeneutics this article sets out to discover, find out the inherent difficulties in the common sense views, ideas and insights of the pre-modern Igbo of Nigeria to redefine, refine and remodel them. The reason is sim- ple: Their concepts and nature of realities especially that of the nature of God were very hazy, inarticulate and confusing. The conclusion is that their concept of the nature of God cannot conform to that in Western Philosophy. Consequently the author concludes that the nature of God among the pre-modern Igbo is monopolytheism which is what was touted as “one” and “many” by pre-modern scholars and scholars of African Traditional Religion. This concept is more acceptable in the light of Igbo Ontology or theory of being, so that the term “One” and “Many”, which, according to Igbo philosophy of language is just a “raw material”, may be dropped since in Igbo philosophy, the term “One” representing one God, and “Many” representing many gods can be made less clumsy since neither of them as in Western thought can fit into Igbo Theism. The solution must be sought in the integration of the “One” and the “Many” in order to distil the true nature of God in Igbo Ontology.

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Mbaegbu, C. (2015) A Philosophical Investigation of the Nature of God in Igbo Ontology. Open Journal of Philosophy, 5, 137-151. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2015.52016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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