Africa and the challenges of religious foundationalism: Thinking on Wole Soyinka’s option
Keywords:Religion, Foundationalism, Religious Foundationalism
The super-imposition of extraneous religious logic has caused serious problems in Africa. Though religion is a strong force to be reckoned with in national development, it has proved to be problematic in a nation like Nigeria. Dangerous fanaticisms, sectarian violence, violation of human rights are some of the problems that emanate from a wrong episteme of religion. Beyond this, there is a foundationalist epistemology where adherents of various denominations push up the epistemic capacity of their religion as the ultimate standard of religious rationality. This has polarized humanity to such an extent that religious inclinations form a basis for the definition and recognition of the being of others. If John shares the same faith with James, then James is considered a brother and a human, but if they share a different faith, the question of humanity and rationality automatically sets in. This paper critically explores the concept of religion, foundationalism and generates a philosophical discourse that can enhance a mindset of tolerance. It explores the view of Wole Soyinka in his essay, The Credo of Being and Nothingness and asserts that the humanistic value in the African Traditional Religion could be a template for other religions and a feature to be propagated.