Igbo Ancestor-Ship and Christian Sainthood: The Bigotry


Ancestor-ship (Igbo forebears) charged with intercessory of the living are once humans before admittance after death into the comity of ancestors. It is one of Igbo expositors that life is not terminated after death and that their dead exist in another spiritual realm mirroring the activities of the living and determining their fate. The Igbo ancestors are always remembered in every Igbo religious rituals and worships while they are also presumed to be present in meals with the living. The admittance into the ancestral cult is not automatic as several criterions are first put in place and considered: living a good life and dying at a ripe old age. For the Christians, sainthood is conceived and used as a title of apostles of Jesus Christ having acknowledged as holy and virtuous during their lifetime. Today, churches still practice the canonization (official declaration) of their dead clergies as saints. The Christian saints believed to be in heaven after death having lived a pious life also serve as an object of veneration and worship. This paper Igbo Ancestor-ship and Christian Sainthood: The Bigotry brings to bear the attributes/making of Igbo ancestor, their roles and place in the Igbo cosmology. It further looks into the Christian saints, what informs ones canonization, their roles and place in Christian worship. This work at the end establishes paradoxical of the Igbo ancestors denigration by Christians despite sharing the same attribute. It further notes that the condemnation and Christians denotation of Igbo Ancestor-ship to paganism amounts to religious bigotry. It suggests for neopaganism approach to some Igbo beliefs and practices that share the same values and attributes to that of the Christians as in the case of Igbo Ancestor-ship and the Christian Sainthood.

Keywords: Igbo, ancestors, saints.

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 17-23 (Download PDF)

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