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Dr. Judith Bachmann


Ifá Divination Practice in/as global spatial dynamics

Dr. Judith Bachmann


The divination practice Ifá is perceived as entry point into Yoruba ontology and thus, its practices are thought of as Yoruba Yoruba-specific. However, Ifá has become a global practice. It has travelled especially through the trans trans-Atlantic to the Americas. In the first part of the lecture, Dr. Obafemi Jegede (African Stud ies, University of Ibadan) will explain the ontological underpinnings of the practice from his ethnography. At its core, Ifá does not see spatial boundaries. Everything is in one space: happiness, sadness, health, illness, life, death, etc. are beings in s pace and as well interconnected. This, in African ontology as exemplified in Ifá, is reality in space. In the second part of the lecture, Dr. Judith Bachmann (Religious Studies, University of Heidelberg) will explore the aspect of the historical possibilit ies of Ifá being applied globally, which happened through comparisons. The West African intellectual John Augustus Abayomi Cole who wrote about Ifá in late 19th century, compared it to Kabbalah, to Tarrot, and ultimately to Occultism. Abayomi Cole did this to argue for an indigenous church, independent from missionary oversight and European “theological corruptions”.

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