Recently, a friend made a Facebook post that links our – African in general and Nigerian in particular – crave for extravagant religious manifestations to our world-view. And though I have always believed that every religious view is informed by the sociocultural background of the people, I have never had much reason to see them in the day-to-day practice of religion. But since that post, I have not stopped seeing that relationship in most of our daily religious activities.
Let me state, ab initio, that though what I am going to state here might be a personal opinion, it is far from being either biased or emotional. It will be to some extent scientifically – and here I mean experientially and not experimentally – verifiable. And also, that I am also a product of what I am questioning here. I am going to concentrate my discussion on only one aspect today.
Have you wondered why the Catholic Charismatic Renewal members in Nigeria, for example – and I have been in the movement since I was 15 years old – and most of these Pentecostals use the expressions like ‘Holy-Ghost Thunder’, ‘Holy-Ghost Fire’, Holy-Ghost Chain, etc., during prayer? Has it always been in our prayer jargon? Do we have such practices among other societies as it can be observed among (African) tribes? Has it ever crossed your mind to ask what makes believers find joy in the invocation of thunder and lightning?