Akan Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the Christian Faith in Ghana: A Review of the Major Works of Robert Rattray

Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong  ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.7  No.8  August 2021 Issue  Article 1 pp.107-119
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2021781  |   Published online 17th August 2021.
© 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


The Western missionaries’ attitude towards Asante indigenous belief systems created the impression that Christianity was unable to live side by side with Asante indigenous knowledge systems. The missionaries ended up creating tension between the Christian faith and the pre-missionary cultural values. The indigenous knowledge systems that informed the world views of the people were not considered an integral part of the available resources for the shaping of the Asante Christian worldview. The Salem communities, for example, were set up to facilitate the disconnection of the new converts from their cultural past. This study is about the available pre-missionary Asante indigenous knowledge systems that Robert Sutherland Rattray after thorough studies published and made available to facilitate all aspects of the Asante life especially interpretation and transmission of the Christian faith. With a critical examination of the various major works of Robert Rattray and observation of Asante cultural and Christian activities, the study identified some specific areas that the Asante indigenous knowledge systems have lived side by side with the Christian faith. The study concludes with a call for respect, pride and intentional exploration into the indigenous knowledge systems to serve the Asante and other Akan Christian needs.

Keywords: Robert Sutherland Rattray, Indigenous Knowledge System, Christian Faith, Asante, Cultural Values.

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Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong (PhD), Lecturer in African Christianity, Department of Religious Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi – Ghana.

Opuni-Frimpong, K. “Akan Indigenous Knowledge Systems and the Christian Faith in Ghana: A Review of the Major Works of Robert Rattray” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 7 no.8 (2021): 107-119  https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2021781

© 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/).