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Title: An examination of community and community relationships in Sierra Leone since 1960 with specific reference to the rise of Evangelical Christian groups in Freetown
Author: John, I.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This study is about the significance of community and community relationships in Sierra Leone, called kabudu in the Creole language. For many individuals the community relationship is viewed as a precious value, that creates the factor of belonging to, and having a place in. The community is devoid without the religious dimension. It is this dimension which is considered to be the active reality which lends life and vitality to the ordinary. In the process religion helps to shape and foster community solidarity and well-being. Since religion is linked closely to kabudu in the traditional society in Sierra Leone, this thesis examines initially how kabudu has functioned in the traditional religious, economic and social spheres of Sierra Leonean society, primarily by examining the structures and institutions like village and family kabudu, created and maintained by individuals who live and interact together on a regular basis. The thesis moves on in chapter two to an examination of life cycle rituals: birth, puberty, marriage and death, to ascertain whether they are created institutions which help to foster kabudu cohesion and well-being. It then studies in chapter three, the effects of modernity, including missionary Christianity, Western education, urbanisation and migration, on the traditional ideals of kabudu. The chapter seeks to explore the interactive dynamism between the traditional ideal of kabudu and the factors of modernity, to determine the extent of retention and shift occurring in the traditional ideal of kabudu. The study follows this by outlining in detail in Chapter four, how the political and economic crisis in Sierra Leone since 1961 have affected traditional practices of kabudu. In the light of the disruptions to the traditional sense of community noted earlier, the thesis asks if traditional expressions of kabudu have begun to be replaced by the contemporary evangelical Christian movement which have sprung up throughout Freetown. The remaining two chapters thus analyse selected evangelical Christian groups in Freetown as expressions of kabudu to determine whether their rise and expansion can be explained by the prevailing need for the traditional sense of kabudu, by its disruption due to persistent social disintegration since 1961 and by the emphasis of such evangelical groups on social cohesion and community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available