African spirituality among the Akan people of Ghana can be defined as a developmental quest to achieve ancestorhood in heaven (Samanadzie) after first attaining eldership and wisdom in the corporeal world (Wiadzie). The African life, then, is a cycle. A human originates in the Samanadzie as a spiritual personality (?saman) after being joined by a spirit (Sunsum). At birth, a newborn is endowed with a soul (?kra), becoming a living being (?kratsiasifo). During adulthood, a person embarks on an ethical existence (?bra b?), the successful application of which leads a community to confer an eldership title (Nana) on an adult. Upon death, a Nana is again transformed into an ?saman and judged at the Samanadzie. If found worthy, the ?saman joins the eternally esteemed company of the Ancestors (Nananom Nsamanfo), with the most powerful of them all-kings and queen mothers-transformed into deities.
Anthony Ephirim-Donkor is assistant professor and undergraduate director of Africana Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Dr. Ephirim-Donkor teaches African and African diaspora religions and cultures. He is the author of The Making of an African King: Patrilineal and Matrilineal Struggle among the Effutu and African Religion Defined: A Systematic Study of Ancestor Worship among the Akan.
Part 1 Preface Part 2 PART I: PERSONALITY FORMATION Chapter 3 Chapter 1: The First People Chapter 4 Chapter 2: Personality Perspectives Chapter 5 Chapter 3: Gods In The Flesh Chapter 6 Chapter 4: God Is Life Part 7 PART II: STAGES OF AFRICAN SPIRITUALITY Chapter 8 Chapter 5: Transient Being Chapter 9 Chapter 6: Spiritual Personality Chapter 10 Chapter 7: Education Chapter 11 Chapter 8: Ethical Existence Chapter 12 Chapter 9: Eldership Chapter 13 Chapter 10: The Ancestors Part 14 Endnotes Part 15 Glossary Part 16 Bibliography Part 17 Index Part 18 About the Author