The Impact of the Yorùbá Traditional Belief in Reincarnation among Yorùbá Christians in Akurẹ

Oladotun B. Osanyinbi, Adebisi G. M. Adedeji


Reincarnation is the belief that after someone dies; his immortal soul separates from the body and lives again in another physical body. The traditional Yorùbá culture holds the belief in reincarnation (atunwaye). Atunwaye is believed to be possible in three different forms which are: ipadawaye (ancestor’s rebirth), akudaaya (die and reappear) and abiku (born to die). The Christian culture does not accommodate such beliefs in reincarnation. Nevertheless, Yorùbá people who are converted to Christianity still hold on to the belief in reincarnation and this generates for them a problem of cultural dilemma. Yorùbá Christians of the Akurẹ division also hold on to the traditional belief in atunwaye which contradicts their Christian faith. This has negative influence on their beliefs and practices as Christians. The various reincarnation beliefs among the Yorùbá people in Akurẹ have been evaluated. Oral interviews were conducted among indigenes of Akurẹ, who are also clergymen and lay Church leaders in Akurẹ from selected denominations to understand the beliefs of Akurẹ Christians on reincarnation. 200 copies of a questionnaire were administered on Akurẹ indigenous Christians to determine the extent of their belief in reincarnation and its impact on their Christian faith.Findings show that Yorùbá Christians in Akurẹ still hold on to traditional belief in reincarnation (atunwaye) in its various forms. It has also been shown that this belief has a great influence on their other beliefs and practices, such as veneration of the dead, occult practices, worship activities and family living.It recommends that Akurẹ Christians be taught sound Biblical doctrine on the subject of reincarnation. It recommends further that the church needs to differentiate between reincarnation and resurrection, emphasising the importance of the belief in resurrection for a Christian.

Keywords: Reincarnation, Yoruba beliefs, ipadawaye, abiku, akudaaya.

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN 2422-8443

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©