Religious and Secular Origins of Morality within the Yoruba Framework: Implications for Man and Society


  • Olatunji A. Oyeshile University of Ibadan, Nigeria


To what extent can we accept the proposition that morality in African culture is exclusively derived from religion or from the people’s conception of the deity? Our answer to the above question is important considering its effect on interpersonal relationship and the people’s attitude towards the community. We therefore in this paper consider again the lively debate on the religious and secular origins of morality in traditional African society. Our conclusion is that although religion plays a prominent role in the life of Africans, morality from which the people derive and exhibit their sense of right and wrong, good and evil is never exclusively based on religion. Rather there are many origins of morality such as religion, rationality, prudence, societal custom and habit, and need for peaceful co-existence in society.