A CRITIQUE OF SMART’S RITUAL DIMENSIONAL THEORY IN THE PHENOMENOLGICAL STUDY OF IGBO PREISTHOOD OF AFRICAN TRADITION

  • NWAOCHA OGECHUKWU Fellow Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain (UK) Dean of study, Bengray College of Advanced and Remedial Studies

Abstract

The phenomenological method employed for scientific study of religion in relation to Priesthood and priestly practices in African tradition has been misunderstood by scholars in religious studies as a result of problems of specificity, anti-reductionism, and bracketing its diverse activities within a religious context. Ninian Smart’s dimensional theory is one of the  phenomenological approaches employed for scientific study of religion through doctrinal, Mythological, Ethical, Ritual, Experiential, Institutional, and Material Dimension, and focused on the area of methodology which should not be “rated above conceptual insight” (Smart 2000). His phenomenological approach remains vague due to paradigm in bracketing diverse functions of the priest in African tradition within a cultural context and the problem of specificity. In contrast to Smart’s dimensional theory, this article reveals the diverse roles of traditional priests as delimit by his “ritual” dimension theory. In support of Smart’s Dimensional Approach, the article also suggests another Dimension of studying Priesthood in relation to African tradition using Critical Review Analysis.

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Published
2018-10-12
How to Cite
OGECHUKWU, N. (2018). A CRITIQUE OF SMART’S RITUAL DIMENSIONAL THEORY IN THE PHENOMENOLGICAL STUDY OF IGBO PREISTHOOD OF AFRICAN TRADITION. International Journal of Religious Studies, 6(2). Retrieved from http://fssh-journal.org/index.php/jrs/article/view/30