Conference - Erwan Dianteill

DSC 0063On the 24th of April, Erwan Dianteill (University Paris Cité) gave a conference titled “from medieval geomancy to the church of Ifa (Nigeria, Republic of Benin): history and anthropology of a divination system". Femi Jegede (University of Ibadan) was a discutant in this conference. Prof. Dianteill’s presentation highlighted the history of Ifa and what the worship entailed, the relationship with other Yoruba Orisas (Esu, Sango, etc), the reason for syncretism and formation of the Ifa church, the geographical location of this practice and the globalization of the ifa practice itself. He also reviewed the differences and the similarities between the Ifa practice and the Ifa Church.

After his presentation, the discussant Dr. Jegede shed more light of some points raised by Erwan Dianteill. He agreed with him on the globalization of the Ifa practice, he also pointed out that the concept of religion does not exist in the Yoruba culture.

The discussion sparked a lot of reactions from the audience and most were surprised at some points raised by the discussant. Dr. Adeduntan from the audience also pointed out that the Orisa, Esu is not the same Esu (Satan) as portrayed in the bible, he is more of a mediator who can take various forms rather than a trickster or devious personality. 


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