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Humanism in Africa

Indigenous Foundations, Muslim Humanism In North Africa, "modern" African Humanism, Secular Humanism In Africa

A common misconception of African humanism is that it is a set of values brought into, instead of emerging from, communities on the African continent. This prejudice is due primarily to the influence of modern European humanism, which is premised upon a secular naturalism as the only model of humanism. The modern European humanist tradition, which treats Christianity as the model of all religion, is critical of Christianity because it claims that Christianity discourages human beings from focusing on the value of human action on Earth beyond concerns for redemption from original sin in an afterlife. If we define humanism as a value system that places priority on the welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings, we should also consider those traditions in which human beings do not seek redemption in an afterlife because, for them, punishment or redemption exists only on Earth. Consequently, their tendency is to place great weight on human action and human subjects. The focus on earthly actions is a key feature of many African religions and, consequently, African humanism.

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