‘Honest to Jok’ Okot p’Bitek en de de-hellenisering van God | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 54, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



In the study of African religion Western discourse has been dominant both to Western and African scholars. Through this Western discourse, ‘African Traditional Religion’ was conceptualised and interpreted in terms of a Western vocabulary and conceptual scheme as a pyramid ranging from an all-pervading power at the base to the supreme being at the top with the spirits as intermediaries. The Ugandan scholar and poet Okot p’Bitek (1931-1982) launched a vehement and bitter attack in 1971 in his on this Western discourse stemming from missionaries and scholars of religion (Edwin W. Smith, Geoffrey Parrinder, Edward Evans-Pritchard). In the articulation of his critique on this Western discourse of ‘African Traditional Religion’ as a ‘Hellenisation’ of African religious deities and concepts, Okot appears to be influenced by yet another Western theological paradigm, i.e. the ‘God-is-dead-theology’, stimulated by the publication of by John A.T. Robinson in 1963.


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