McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Elochukwu E Uzukwu
Rooted in the Earth, Igbo Sacramental Universe, Ecological Ethics, Rituals
The contemporary Igbo society faces a lot of challenges. These include political, religious, and moral crises. These crises affect the environment in many ways. They threaten the peace and harmony of the Igbo society. As a result, it touches on faith. The Igbo society holds a holistic view of life. Whatever affects one aspect of life affects the other areas. Ecologically, various factors are responsible for the crises. These include changes in lifestyle from the traditional way of living to modern style of life with its penchant on consumerism. Also, colonialism and its lingering residues, civil unrests, politics, population growth, poverty, and corrupt practices are factors that contribute to ecological degradation among the Igbo people. This dissertation examines how these mounting ecological crises in Igbo land have both political, religious, and economic grounds that empower and enhance ecological disaster. However, it argues that the erosion of the traditional Igbo earth-affirming rituals and the ethics of interconnectedness has done a great deal of harm to the Igbo society ecologically. It affects faith likewise the environment. The contemporary Igbo penchant for consumerism and some Christian fundamentalists’ attitude towards the Igbo traditional culture and religious practices, in some ways, contribute to ecological dereliction, leading to wanton desecration of the traditionally held sacred view of the universe. The traditional Igbo society had conservatist values, customs and ways of life rooted in its sacramental nature of the universe. Such a way of life promoted and preserved the harmony of the environment. This work, therefore, argues that the traditional Igbo sacramental view of the universe and its ethical practices can effectively address the ecological crises and ameliorate their impacts in Igbo land, reduce the major impacts of ecological degradation and maintain harmony. The church can learn a lot from the Igbo religious universe and practices and, seek better ways to partner with it in dealing with the mounting ecological issues in Igbo society today.
Oguzie, K. (2022). ROOTED IN THE EARTH: AN IGBO SACRAMENTAL NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE, A MODEL FOR IGBO CHRISTIAN ECOLOGICAL ETHICS (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/2099