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versão On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versão impressa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.75 no.4 Pretoria  2010


Critical prophecy and political leadership in biblical, African and Islamic worldviews


Kritiese profesie en politiese leierskap in bybelse, Afrika en Islamitiese wêreldbeskouings



P.O. Abioje

Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, ILORIN, Nigeria. E-mail:




This article examines the socio-political influence of prophecy in traditional African and the biblical perspectives, in order to challenge contemporary African religious men and women to serve as the conscience of society. There is hardly any doubt that political leaders are usually prone to abuse of their positions and they need to be reprimanded and lampooned. A discussion on Islam is included, because, together with Christianity, it dominates, to a large extent, socio-political and economic leadership in Africa. It is the view of many scholars that neither Christianity nor Islam have been applied sufficiently to political leadership in Africa to have an impact on mass socio-political and economic welfare, although some heroic individual exceptions are noted. The materials were gathered through a literature study. The study is comparative in the sense that it compares prophecy in traditional Africa with what is obtained from the Bible and the church as we know it today. The study recommends critical prophecy in the two dominant Old Testament religions, namely Christianity and Islam, and in African Traditional Religion, for improved political leadership and development in Africa.

Key concepts: African traditional religion, Christianity, divination, Islam, leadership prophecy, critical


Hierdie artikel ondersoek die sosio-politieke invloed van profesie vanuit tradisionele Afrika- en bybelse perspektiewe ten einde kontemporêre Afrika-gelowiges uit te daag om as die gemeenskap se gewete te dien. Daar bestaan byna geen twyfel nie dat politieke leiers geneig is om hulle posisies te misbruik en hulle behoort mondelings sowel as skriftelik tereggewys te word. 'n Bespreking oor Islam word ingesluit, aangesien dit tot 'n groot mate, tesame met Christenskap, die sosio-politieke en ekonomiese leierskap in Afrika domineer. Dit is die uitgangspunt van menige navorsers dat sowel Christenskap as Islam oor die algemeen nie effektief in Afrika-politiek toegepas word om 'n massa-impak op sosio-politiese en ekonomiese welstand te hê nie, alhoewel sommige individuele heroïse geleenthede wel raakgesien word. Die materiaal is hoofsaaklik deur 'n literatuursoektog ingesamel. Hierdie artikel is vergelykend in die sin dat dit profesie in tradisionele Afrika vergelyk met dit wat oor die algemeen in die Bybel te vind is, sowel as met die kerk soos dit vandag daar uitsien. Die artikel stel kritiese profesie in die twee dominante gelowe van die Ou Testament, naamlik Islam en Christenskap sowel as in tradisionele Afrika-godsdiens voor, ten einde politieke leierskap en ontwikkeling in Afrika te verbeter.

Kernbegrippe: Afrika tradisionele godsdiens, Christenskap, Islam, leierskap profesie, kritiese waarsêery



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