Accepted paper:

Locating the modern in the indigenous: the construction of an African conception of peace

Authors:

Adebola Babatunde Ekanola (University of Ibadan)

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines how an African conception of peace, derived from interviews with an African sage and a critical interrogation of Ifa, offers a viable theoretical template to effectively prevent or resolve the problem of violent conflict ravaging many parts of Africa today.

Paper long abstract:

With the increasing interest in indigenous knowledge and the growing appreciation of its relevance in contemporary African society, African scholars across disciplines seek to interact with traditional African sages with the conviction that the latter possess a store of indigenous knowledge that can facilitate social development and address diverse social challenges in Africa in ways that are better than Western-derived alternatives. This effort is largely premised on the perceived shortcomings of Western theories and conceptions in providing an adequate basis or framework to effectively address many of the core social and developmental challenges confronting contemporary African society. The paper employs Odera Oruka's conception of Sage Philosophy as framework to illustrate the centrality of traditional African sages and the traditional African literature derived from them and other indigenous cultural sources in the recent attempts to construct an indigenous knowledge base. Its central argument is that indigenous knowledge provides a useful framework for addressing much of the challenges confronting contemporary African society. Thus, it examines how an African conception of peace, derived from interviews with an African sage and a critical interrogation of Ifa, an indigenous cultural source that a crop of African sages are custodians of, offers a viable theoretical template to effectively prevent or resolve the problem of violent conflict ravaging many parts of Africa today.

panel P177
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