A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF RELIGIOUS NEXUS: LESSONS FOR CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA

A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF RELIGIOUS NEXUS: LESSONS FOR CONTEMPORARY NIGERIA

Authors

  • EDIBA, ISAAC OGBOGO

Abstract

It has become fashionable in Nigeria to posit that Islam and Christianity are two religions that
are mutually antagonistic in virtually all ramifications. Aside from the fact that both religions
are believed to be among the Abrahamic faiths; the antecedents of the two belief system in the
context of evolving socio-economic and political dynamics of Nigeria have not been palatable
and one that is enmeshed in controversies and in some instances open confrontations with
debilitating consequences. This paper intends to bring to limelight the historical relationship
which existed between Islam and Christianity from the point of view of historical scholarship.
The paper adopts the Functionalist theory of religion in its analysis, and argues that peaceful
coexistence in these religions have been undermined in Nigeria largely by the political elites
for their personal aggrandizements that are far apart from the injunctions of their creeds. The
paper relies on the historical methodology which emphasizes the retrieval, evaluation and
interpretation of sources of the past human experience. The finding of the paper is that contrary
to popularly held views, there had been robust relationship between Islam and Christianity,
which is dated to the epoch of the historical development of Islam in the 7th century. It is
recommended that based on these historical ties between these two universal religions, the
Nigerian government, and by extension the populace, should constantly explore means of
solidifying cooperation and mutual tolerance between the adherents of the two religions.

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Published

2023-08-08

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