The Cultural Factors Of Religion, Ethnicity And Nationalism, Modernization, And Geography

1878 Words 8 Pages
Culture “encompasses the set of beliefs, moral values, traditions, language, and laws held in common by a nation, a community, or other defined group of people” (Hahn 1994). The definition is broad, but if broken up into four main areas of focus a better understanding and analysis of a culture can be accomplished. This essay will discuss in depth how the cultural factors of religion, ethnicity and nationalism, modernization, and geography have shaped the continent of Africa into the region it is today.

Religion Religion has always been central to the lives of African people. Now most Africans are either Muslim or Christian, however, traditional religions have endured through and still play a very large role in daily life. One aspect that stands out is that nearly every religion in Africa has a different Deity, that of a Supreme power, or one creator “who is all knowing and eternal and was there at the beginning of time”(Heineman 1992). One can spend days discussing every deity, but for the purpose of this essay the religions of Islam and Christianity will be discussed as they play the largest role in African culture. The religious scene in Africa has taken a distinct path in a new direction in the past century. Back in the 1900s both Muslims and Christians represented very small minorities with the traditional African Religions representing around 76% of the religious organizations in the region (WRD 2010). Since then however, the Muslim population has risen from an…

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