Perhaps one of the most discussed concepts in relation to religion and philosophy in Africa is time. Time has been postulated as the distinctive element in defining the religious reality and philosophical thought of the African peoples. This was originally formulated by the famed African theologian and philosopher John S. Mbiti, who argued that the African concept of time is distinct from the Western mode of formulating time. Although critiqued by subsequent African scholars, the basic premise of the theory still holds.

It states that African time has two dimensions: a dynamic present (sasa) and an ever-increasing past (zamani), meaning that history for the African never moves forward, but ever backward. The future dimension is strictly limited to the near future, which in essence remains ...

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