Is Olodumare, God in Yoruba Belief, God? A Response to Benson O. Igboin
Belief in a Supreme Being is an idea that virtually all cultures of the world subscribe to. However, different interpretation could be deduced from the subscriptions. The Yoruba, for example, in Nigeria, is not an exception to this. Olodumare the Yoruba word for Supreme Being has attracted comments, interpretations and misinterpretations from different scholars of both Yoruba and non-Yoruba extractions. For instance, E. Bolaji Idowu, John Ayotunde Bewaji, Kazeem Ademola Fayemi, Kola Abimbola analyses manifests some seemingly contradictions which was hinged upon by Benson O. Igboin, in his paper “Is Olodumare, God in Yoruba Belief, God?” to demand for the true nature of Olodumare having conceded that Olodumare and the Christian God are not and cannot be the same. Specifically, Igboin asked Olodumare, who are you? This paper, therefore, provides an insight to the real nature of Olodumare in Yoruba worldview. It argues that God is nothing other than the English meaning or interpretation of the Supreme Being. The paper posits that Igboin’s pairs of Esu and Olodumare of which one is true and faithful to Yoruba traditional Religion and the other true and faithful to Christianity in Yoruba land does not hold water. Using analytical method of philosophical inquiry, the paper concludes that Olodumare in Yoruba traditional Religion cannot be equated with the concept of God as conceived in Christianity neither could it be bifurcated. Hence, Olodumare is not necessarily God as conceived in Christian thought, but he is sufficiently a Supreme Being in Yoruba theology.
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