Religious and Cultural Conflicts: A Critical Appraisal of the Scottish Mission Activities Among the Efik People of Old Calabar

Religious and Cultural Conflicts: A Critical Appraisal of the Scottish Mission Activities Among the Efik People of Old Calabar

Ekpenyong Nyong Akpanika (University of Calabar, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2574-6.ch015

Abstract

Culture and religion are two important parts of human life that are highly emotional. People do everything to protect, defend, and keep their cultural and religious heritage no matter how primitive others may think it is. Failure to recognize the religious and cultural worldview of a people in the evangelization of such society often leads to a conflict of allegiance. This study is a critical appraisal of the Scottish missionary activities among the Efik people of Old Calabar, Nigeria. The effect of neglecting these cultural elements that would have acted as a bridge to the full acceptance of Christianity among the people was neglected. This rigid attitude was challenged by the emergence of some Independent African Churches that came as a substitute for the mission churches. The need for a new perspective on the interaction of culture and religion is therefore required if the world is to survive the current global religious conflicts.
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The Background To The Request Of Efik Chiefs To Her Majesty: The Queen Of England

Apart from the initiative of the Jamaican Negroes and their sponsorship by the Scottish Missionary Society to Africa and particularly Old Calabar, several other factors played out in making the missionary activity easy. One of it was the abolition of slave trade. The business of slave trade in Old Calabar had exposed the native Chiefs to the economic benefits and wealth of knowledge that could be gained from the white man and in an attempt to maintain the business relationship and consolidate on the economic benefits of the bilateral trade, after the abolition of slave trade, the Chiefs of Old Calabar invited the missionaries to fill the gap created by the abolitionist movement (Aye, 1987).

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