Full Length Research Paper

Satan and Traditional African Deities as Two Complimentary and Contradictory Spiritual Agents of Social Control among the Igbo of Nigeria

Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe

Article Number - 60F82377C49C3  | Vol. 1(3), pp. 26-42, July 2021  | 
 Received: 8 February 2021 |  Accepted: 4 June 2021  |   Published: 31 July 2021

Copyright © 2024 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.


This work x-rays the subsisting tendency by both the Western allied scholars and their Christian counterparts to conceptualize every spiritual force within the Traditional African cosmological field of communication particularly among the Igbo of Nigeria that has no root in Christianity, its positive polar dimension notwithstanding, as being part of the complex theory Satan (Devil) in Christian cosmology; thus by the same token interpreted as Ekwensu, a concept which has become the generic interpretation of the Christian Satan and Devil. What it means is that spiritual elements in their communication with man are principally judged not by their stated objectives and reson d’etat, but merely by their forms and geo-cultural identity. Thus for the Igbo, both Ekwensu which is literally interpreted as the Biblical Satan and the benevolent spiritual elements that function as agents of social control are categorized as agents of Satan. On the contrary, this paper avers that there must be a separation between the good from the evil within the Igbo realm of cosmological communication as it is applicable in the Christian cosmology based fundamentally on their social control roles. It further questions to the notion of Ekwensu as the Christian Satan who is in direct opposition to God the Creator in terms of status and roles, against the background of the existence of other malevolent spiritual forces in Igbo cosmology.


Keywords: Satan, Ekwensu, Deities, Traditional African Religion, Christianity.




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Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe

Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. E-mail: [email protected]


How to Cite this Article

Nwaezeigwe, N. T. (2021). Satan and Traditional African Deities as Two Complimentary and Contradictory Spiritual Agents of Social Control among the Igbo of Nigeria. Journal of Culture, History and Archaeology, 1(3):26-42.


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Abbreviation: J. Cult. Hist. Archaeol.
ISSN: 2971-7752 (Online)
Start Year: 2021
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Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe