God in Jewish and Fante Religious Thought

Leo Andoh Korsah ORCID iD  &  Maxwell Kojo Tsibu ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.2  No.2 February 2021  Article 1 pp. 9 – 19
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2021221  |   Published online 19th February 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


This paper focuses on the Jewish concept of God from the Hebrew Bible and also God in the thoughts of the Fante from Oguaa (Cape Coast). The methodological approaches adopted for the study were phenomenology and the narrative method. Instruments used in the collection of data were observation and semi-structured interviews using the purposive sampling technique. The paper deals with the question of the existence of God, names, and the nature of God from both Jewish and Fante thoughts. Questions about the existence of God are taken for granted in the Hebrew Bible: it is a foundational knowledge embedded in their very consciousness and praxis. The same established understanding is found among the Fante from Oguaa, as expressed in the popular maxim: Obi nkyerε abɔfra Nyame, literally meaning, ‘no one shows the child God’. The study contends that the Jewish concept of God in the Hebrew Bible is not much different from God in the life and thought of the people of Oguaa. The paper also brings out some shared similarities and differences between the Jewish and Fante in their conceptions about God. The sharp dichotomy between these two sets of religious groups is that among the Jewish people, there is a consistent emphasis on the oneness of YHWH and exclusive devotion unto him as attested to in the Hebrew Bible whereas in the Fante thought, devotion to the Supreme God is diffused with that of other transcendental beings such as gods and ancestors.

Keywords: Deity, Fante, Jewish, thought, Oguaa, Religious

Asare-Danso, S. African Traditional Religion. Cape Coast: Beret Outlook Press, 2019.

Brown, F., Driver. S.R. & Briggs, C.A. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament.England, 1907.

Danquah, J. B. The Akan Doctrine of God. London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1968.

Gyekye, K. African Cultural Values. Accra: Sankofa Publishing Company, 1996.

Hick, J. Philosophy of Religion. N. J: Eaglewood Cliffs, 1983.

Idowu, E.B. African Traditional Religion: A definition. SCM Press Ltd, 1973.

Johnson, A. R. The one and many in the Israelite conception of God. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961.

Jonas, H. The Concept of God After Auschwitz: A Jewish Voice. New School for Social Research. The University of Chicago, 1987.

Korsah, L.A, & Kuwornu-Adjaottor, J.E.T. The Akan experience of God through the eyes of the Fante from Oguaa. Art Human Open Acc J. 2019; 3(6):280‒283. DOI: 10.15406/ahoaj.2019.03.00142

Laurence, S. & Margolis, E. Concepts: Core Readings. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1999.

Maimonides, M. B. Guide of the perplexed. Translated and Edited by Shlomo Pines. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963.

Mbiti, J.S. Introduction to African Religion. 2nd ed. Oxford: Heinemann International Literature and Textbooks, 1991.

Mbiti, J.S. African Religions & Philosophy. London: Heinemann, 1969.

Microsoft. Microsoft Encarta Dictionary. Microsoft Corporation, 2008.

Miller, P.D. The Religion of Ancient Israel. Westminster: John Knox Press, 2000.

Obiorah, J. M. The Biblical foundations of Christian Monotheism. In B. U. Ukwuije (Ed.) God, Bible and African Traditional Religion – Acts of SIST International Missiological Symposium. Enugu: SNAAP, 2010.

Ogada, C. The Judeo-Christian God. In E. E. Onyedinma (Ed.), Whose God is God? Exploring the Concept of God within Religions. Abuja, Nigeria: Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd, 2013.

Oguaa Fetu Afahyε Brochure. Cape Coast: Nyakod Printing Works, 2008.

Opoku, K.A. West African Traditional Religion. Accra: FEP International Private Limited, 1978.

Pobee, J.S. Toward an African theology. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1979.

Prasad, S. The concept of God in the Philosophy of Kant. India, New Delhi: Classical Publishing Company, 2005.

Quarcoopome, T.N.O. West African Traditional Religion. Ibadan: African Universities Press, 1987.

Ross, J. J. The primacy of the Personalist Concept of God in Jewish thought. The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, 8, pp. 171-199, 1999.

Schäfer, P. Two Gods in Heaven: Jewish conception of God in antiquity. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2020.

Schmaus, M. DOGMA 2: God and Creation. London: Sheed and Ward Inc, 1969.

Smith, E. W. African Ideas of God, 2nd ed., London: Edinburgh House Press, 1961.

Vaux, R. The religion of the O.T. In R. Tricot (Ed.), New Catholic Encyclopaedia (Vol. 6, Part 2, pp. 393-422). Washington D.C: Catholic University of America, 1967.

Leo Andoh Korsah holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Philosophy degrees from the Department of Religious Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Ghana. He is a Senior Tutor at the Methodist College of Education, Akyem Asene-Aboabo, Oda- Eastern Region – Ghana.

Maxwell Kojo Tsibu is a PhD candidate at the Department of Religion and Human Values. He holds B.Ed. and Master of Philosophy degrees from the same Department at the University of Cape Coast (UCC). He is a Tutor at the Methodist College of Education, Akyem Asene-Aboabo, Oda- Eastern Region – Ghana. Email: maxwelltsibu.k@gmail.com.

Korsah, L.A & Tsibu, M.K., “God in Jewish and Fante Religious Thought,” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 2, no.2 (2021): 9-19. https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2021221

© 2021 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).