IMPACT OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION ON CULTURE
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1.1 Background of the study
In this paper, Christian values are defined as those ideals or principles which Christianity cherishes. In this presentation, my aim is not to dwell on the unique worth of Christianity or its values. These are well-known and appreciated, especially in Nigeria society. My main concern is to relate and evaluate this worth in terms of a definite culture, namely, Nigeria ensemble of values. The choice of Nigeria is obvious for an Nigeria writer. It becomes attractive and obvious, too, once we identify Western, including American, culture, which Benin is, rightly or wrongly, identify with Christianity. That is, since Western culture has been perceived in Benin land as synonymous with Christianity, Nigeria culture as a recipient of Western culture bears the influence or weight of Christianity on its own culture. My second duty will be to select certain sections of this culture in order to highlight these Christian influences. To fathom the extent of the influence of Christian values on Nigeria culture some historical and sociological perspectives will be necessary as they will mirror such influences where they exist. The missionaries came to Benin land in the later part of the 19th Century, where they met a pattern of life not all of which ran counter to Christian principles. The spread of Christian influence was backed by such elements as the size of the area, the complete absence of roads and means of communication, as well as other harsh environmental circumstances which inhibited free movement of the early missionaries to all corners of the area. These facts may have accounted for the less universal preponderance of the Christian influence on the host culture. Such claims as these may be seen as too lofty in view of the allegation of mass caving in of Nigeria culture to the invading European culture. But the assumptions that local culture and Christian values were polarized and conflicting and that Christian values dislodged their host counterparts can be maintained only with notable qualifications, for it must be remembered that the host culture was traditional and natural, that is, it was unadulterated, original or God-given. It approximated in part, and accorded with Christian values and to that degree was not in conflict to them. Equally important in this regard is the similarity in human nature which tends to minimize among differences among human groups. I have been purposely cautious because there were indeed areas where conflict existed between the host culture and Christian values. Nonetheless, since grace builds upon nature and nature exists in Benin land as elsewhere, there is much of enormous positive value in Nigeria traditions and religious consciousness.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The effect has been a more distinctive and permanent manifestation of the legacy or influence of Christianity, which is the invisible and unofficial striving to live in conjunction with both the Christian and the traditional life. Thus, the individual Christian in his subconscious and in moments of crisis clings tenaciously to, or relapses without conflict or qualms, into traditional life. But credit must go to Christianity for the tremendous impact it has had on the advancement of knowledge and learning in Benin: the opaque scales that blindfolded the people have been pulled down. All now know that all men are equal before God, and probably this new thought has been the motive force behind the struggle for Nigeria unity. Ignorance and superstition have been put to flight after contact with Christianity. And this is an invaluable achievement indeed.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is impact of Christian religion on culture. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;
- To determine the bearing of Christian religion to culture
- To determine the influence of Christian religion on culture
- To ascertain the relationship between Christian religion and Benin’s culture
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: Christian religion does not influence Benin’s culture
H1: Christian religion influence Benin’s culture
H02: there is no relationship between Christian religion and Benin’s culture
H2: there is relationship between Christian religion and Benin’s culture
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research is important because it teaches us the relationship between Christianity and culture. It will expose to the Christian the importance of cultural heritage within the Benin kingdom, and also it will show us whether culture and Christianity work hand in hand.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the impact of Christian region on culture. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
CHRISTIANITY: Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, who is the focal point of the Christian faith. It is the world’s largest religion, with over 2.4 billion followers, or 33% of the global population, known as Christians.
RELIGION: Other words that are used for religion are “faith” and “belief system”. Altogether, followers of religion can be known as religionists. Some people follow more than one religion at a time. The largest religions are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism and Judaism. There are many other religions.
CULTURE: Culture (/ˈkʌltʃər/) is defined as the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies.
BELIEF: Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty. In the context of Ancient Greek thought, two related concepts were identified with regards to the concept of belief: pistis and doxa.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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