OJPP  Vol.3 No.2 , May 2013
The Forest in African Traditional Thought and Practice: An Ecophilosophical Discourse
Abstract: In traditional African thought which is still prevalent in many places in Africa, despite the onslaught of globalization and the attendant consequences of colonialism, the forest is held and revered to be a sacred entity and in most cases the habitation of supra-human forces. Apart from clearing for cultivation and human residence, the forest was generally preserved and protected from endangerment. Today, in most places especially in urban Africathis is no longer the case. A colonialist ideology that commoditises the forest has taken root and some no longer see anything wrong in wanton destruction of forest land and degradation of forests. This work uses a critical method to interpret the African concept of the forest, propose reclaiming aspects of the African concept of the forest. The work finds and concludes that there are viable gems in the African heritage that can help to combat climate change and the environmental crisis.
Cite this paper: Ikeke, M. (2013). The Forest in African Traditional Thought and Practice: An Ecophilosophical Discourse. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 345-350. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.32052.

[1]   Adogbo, M. P. (2000). The spirit world of African peoples. In S. U. Erivwo, & M. Adogbo (Eds.), Contemporary essays in the study of religions: Volume one (pp. 104-123). Lagos: Fairs and Exhibitions Nigeria Limited.

[2]   Anizoba, M. A. (2005). Exploitation and management of natural resources: A sustainable approach. Awka: Scoa Heritage Systems.

[3]   Appiah, K. A. (2003). Thinking it through: An introduction to contemporary philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[4]   Blackburn, S. (2005). Oxford dictionary of philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[5]   Burnham, O. (2000). African wisdom. London: Judy Piatkus.

[6]   Creation in African thought. (n.d).

[7]   Ehusani, G. O. (1991). An Afro-Christian vision (Ozovehe): Towards a more humanized world. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

[8]   Ferguson, D. S. (2010). Exploring the spirituality of the world religions. London: Continuum.

[9]   Mackenzie, A., Ball, A. S., & Virdee, S. R. (1998). Instant notes in ecology. Oxford: Bios Scientific Publishers.

[10]   Maguire, D. C. (2000). Sacred energies: When the world’s religions sit down to talk about the future of human life and the plight of this planet. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

[11]   Murck, B. (2005). Environmental science: A self-teaching guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

[12]   Peterson, R. B. (2004). Central African voices on the human-enevironment relationship. In R. S. Gottlieb (Ed.), This sacred earth: Religion, nature, environment, 2nd edition (pp. 168-174). New York: Routledge.

[13]   Rajagopalan, R. (2011). Environmental studies: From crisis to cure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[14]   Rey, T. (2008). Trees in Haitian Vodou. In B. Taylor (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of religion and nature: Volume II (pp. 1658-1659). New York: Continuum.

[15]   Sindima, H. (1990). Community of life: Ecological theology in African perspective. In W. Eakin, C. Birch, & J. McDaniel (Eds.), Liberating life: Contemporary approaches to ecological theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

[16]   Tangwa, G. B. (2006). Some African reflections on biomedical and environmental ethics. In K. Wiredu (Ed.), A companion to African Philosophy (pp. 387-395). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

[17]   Taringa, N. (2006). How environmental is African traditional religion? Exchange, 35, 191-214.

[18]   Traditional African Religion. (2012).

[19]   The Chambers Dictionary (1993). The Chambers dictionary. Edinburgh: Chambers Harrap Publishers.

[20]   The New Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language (2004). The New Webster’s dictionary of the English language. New York: Lexicon Publications.