Course Summary

Worldview concepts in Traditional Religion

"Comparative religion" usually implies that two or more religious systems are described and analyzed, without reference to value judgment. This course provides both description and analysis, but it will take a decidedly different path. Systems of Traditional Religion will be analyzed in view of the gospel of Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible. Hopefully, the points made will represent each system fairly.

The course offers an opportunity to the M.T.S. student to become more conversant with Traditional Religion, especially in contrast with the Christian belief system. It offers the M.Div. student an opportunity to hone the skill of religious conversation. Included are some historical background and missiological methods for interacting with Traditional groups in the interest of the gospel.

This course is organized in three modules: (1) Worldview and Traditional Religion, (2) African Traditional Religion, and (3) Divination in Traditional Religion. 3 semester hours of graduate credit.


1. Evaluate the common beliefs and practices in Traditional Religion

2. Recognize the nature of spiritism and the importance it has in Traditional Religion.

3. Compare and contrast points of view between Traditional Religion with Christianity

Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on three examinations of equal value, plus two essays. Each graded element is valued at 20 percent. A sample multiple choice exam problem is given below.

Authority in Traditional Religion is based on (A) a book similar to the Bible, (B) oral tradition, (C) on-going revelations by contemporary prophets, (D) personal experience.


Ample e-books are available in the Electronic Collection without cost to the student.  However, if hard copy resources are preferred, the following are recommended:

Gehman, Richard J. African Traditional Religion in Biblical Perspective. Oasis International, Ltd., 2016. 402 pages. $18.99 ISBN: 978-1594521744

Magesa, Laurenti. African Religion: The Moral Traditions of Abundant Life. Orbis Books, 1997. 296 pages. $18.99 ISBN: 978-0073122694

Moro, Pamela; James E. Myers, and Arthur C. Lehmann. Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion: An Anthropological Study of the Supernatural. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill Humanities, 2006. 556 pages. $24.89 ISBN: 978-0073405216

Olupona, Jacob K., ed. African Traditional Religions in Contemporary Society. Paragon House, 1998.204 pages. $11.51 ISBN: 978-0892260799