Religious Functionalism: An Influential Tool for Harnessing Corruption in Ghana

Pauleson A. Utsu ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.2  No.11  November 2021  Article 1 pp. 170-178
DOI :  |   Published online 9th November, 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


One of the most influential and ever-expanding dimensions of almost every African society is religion. Every function political, legal, or economic, is intertwined with the ingredients of religion. In Ghana, it is socially, politically, and legally offensive to separate religion from communal exhibitions and, restrict it from individual performance. Amid the widely spread commitment to different religions by public officials, the reality of corruption alongside its destructive nature still infringes on the public administrative efficiency in Ghana. With regards to this submission, one question worth asking is, can religion, owing to its measurability, be operable in curbing corruption in a notoriously religious and corruption-spotted country like Ghana? In finding a response to this question, this paper argued that religious functionalism can be used as a practical tool in the fight against corruption in Ghana. Religious functionalism in its definitional postulation refers to activities that promote social integration, adhesive group formation, and social control that foster a moral framework that contributes to the development of a society. To achieve its objective and arrive at workable recommendations, the paper relied on library materials—drawing contents from the research papers relating to the subject matter. The paper recommended that in order to fight corruption in Ghana the functional dimensions of Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion should be emphasized. Specifically, the adherents of these religions owe a responsibility to their religious moral frameworks. If the Ghanaian society is ‘notoriously’ religious, it follows that religious functionalism is indispensable in the fight against corruption.

Keywords: Functionalism, Corruption, Religion, Development.

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Pauleson A. Utsu is a graduate student of Philosophy from Spiritan University which is affiliated to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana. He owns a BA in Philosophy and Social Sciences, and Religious Studies. He has published a book on ‘Africa’s Underdevelopment: whom to Blame,’ and other research papers. His research interests are: African Studies, Development, and Philosophy of Religion.

Utsu,P.A. “Religious Functionalism: An Influential Tool for Harnessing Corruption in Ghana,E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 2, no.11 (2021): 170-178.

© 2021 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (