In African religion, children are of primary importance. Indeed, children fulfill two significant roles. First, they remember and honor their departed parents. Second, they allow departed ones to come back into the world of the living. This entry looks at the underlying beliefs about ancestors and explains each of the child's critical functions in turn.

Beliefs about Ancestors

In the African worldview, there is no fundamental difference between life and death because the latter is perceived as being simply a different mode of existence. Life, by definition, is infinite and eternal, and can, therefore, never end. Death, in that context, is a rite of passage that allows one to enter the ancestral realm. The primary difference between the world of the living and the ancestral universe ...

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