The Literary Herald Rereading Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka: A Critical Analysis of African Postcolonial Literatureligion Rereading Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka: A Critical Analysis of African Postcolonial Literatureligion

Ariful Islam
2015 An International Refereed English e-Journal   unpublished
Behind the backdrop of today's Africa and its history of struggle against colonial discourses that have mythologized Africa as 'dark' and 'savage' set against Western 'civilization,' the readers of African postcolonial literary works shall always find religion in different forms and modes of operation. Far from being naïve, religions have always been the door to get out of and/or get into another world with different values, beliefs and practices. Cultural, historical, and theoretical readings
more » ... eoretical readings of African postcolonial literature are good to explore and identify the what and how of Africa and the Africans. This paper argues that the study of religion, a kind of study which is often overlooked, in African postcolonial literatures may answer to many whys as it deconstructs Enlightenment-influenced reasoning because, the Gods of Africa are always there to confront the other God(s) for power, authority and knowledge. Developed through a library research, the present paper reads representation of religion in some select postcolonial novels including Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Petals of Blood and Wole Soyinka's The Trials of Brother Jero. The paper shows that postcolonial writers treat religion not simply as a spiritual gateway to and thus an agent to revive indigenous belief system but also as a geopolitical force to strengthen or withstand cultural and political aggression. What is Literatureligion? In fact I have formed this word-for the first time in English-to refer to: the literary works that include religion and/or religious aspects implicitly and/or explicitly; the study of the politics of different religions in the context of different literatures in regard of different times, places and individuals; the representation of religion/s in literature/s; and the harmony as well as the conflict between religion and literature. Basically, I used the term first in my M.A. Dissertation entitled "Representation of Religion in African Postcolonial Literature".
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