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Title: Divinities and ancestors in encounter with Christianity in the experience and religious history of the early Irish and the Akan people of Ghana
Author: Macrae, Clare
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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An initial interest in understanding the surviving traditions relating to the pan-Celtic divinity Lugh in his Irish guise, and some personal acquaintance with West Africa suggested this comparative study. I soon found that the institution of the Akan traditional chieftancy, still functioning as integral to the socio-religious identity of the modern Akan people of Ghana, provided illuminating insights into the paradigmatic role of Lugh in relation to early Irish sacral kingship. Although early mediaeval Ireland and 19th and 20th century Gold Coast, now Ghana, are divided both in historical time and geographical space, other similarities in the "Universe of meaning" proper to each culture emerged during the study of their own specific 'encounters with Christianity'. Chap. 1 first 'introduces' Lugh through the Irish tale Cath Maige Tuired, and then the Akan, both in their historical and geographical context and tentatively, through varied clues, within their world of meaning and self-understanding. Chap 2 has two parts: Early Encounters with Christianity among the Irish and the Akan and Encounter as Confrontation. Chap.3 is a comparative study of the Sacral ruler in 4 parts: covering (a) the relationship of kinship to kingship; (b) the sacral ruler in theory and in action; (c) the myth/ritual conveying, enacting, and authenticating the union with the 'transcendent power' informing sacral rule, (centring on Baile in Scáil the other main Lugh 'source') and (d) The Festival of Lughnasa and Akan Odwira, each celebrating both Harvest and the centripetal function of kingship. Chap.4 explores and compares the presence and importance of the Female Principle for both, and Chap.5 collates the main conclusions of the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available