Reincarnation, Predestination And Moral Responsibility: Critical Issues In Akan Philosophical Thought


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Philosophy & Classics


The concept of reincarnation in Akan and, to some extent, African philosophical thought has not been very much examined by scholars. The few who have done so, have erroneously argued that belief in reincarnation is nonexistent in African thought. These scholars include J. S. Mbiti and E. B. Idowu. But, this work argues that a good understanding of the Ghanaian Akan culture should suggest the presence of reincarnation in Akan and, indeed, African thought. The implications of reincarnation are also examined in connection with predestination and moral responsibility in Akan thought. In the absence of sufficient scholarly literature – especially, on the subject of reincarnation – the work also resorts to a combination of sources of indigenous knowledge for the analysis and clarification of the above-mentioned Akan philosophical concepts. These include the qualitative methods of linguistic analysis and the use of proverbs.