- Jacob K. Olupọna
In African indigenous religions, the principal deities, spirits, gods, ancestors, and personal and impersonal forces are regarded as active agents in the created world, with theistic and nontheistic notions of supernatural forces embedded in the various cosmologies. ‘Gods, ancestors, and spirit beings’ illustrates that African pantheons of gods, goddesses, spirits, and other nonhuman beings are varied in number and complex in character. The relationship between the many gods and the Supreme God varies from region to region, from people to people. Ancestral tradition, the veneration of deceased parents and forebears, constitutes a key aspect of African religions. Today, polytheism—the worship of multiple gods—on the African continent is extremely controversial and embattled.