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Religion and Religious Pluralism in Nation-Building: The Nigerian Experience

By Nicholas U. Asogwa

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Abstract
This paper examines the place of religion and religious pluralism in nation-building with Nigeria as its focal point. It ties the existence of many religions and the attendant claims to authenticity to the claims by some individuals to have had personal relations from God. The paper goes on to note that these unfounded claims to exclusive religious authenticity are the major cause of incessant religious crisis and wars in Nigeria. Furthermore, the paper attributes religious intolerance and crisis to ignorance, noting that all religions have a common source. Religion, the paper argues, is a two-edged sword with the propensity for good and bad. On the positive side, the paper observes that religion inculcates rich moral values in its adherents. These values act as catalysts for the positive transformation of the individuals and society at large. Conversely, it argues that controversial passages as contained in the scriptures of the various religions have resulted and may continue to result in doctrinal misinterpretations and misunderstanding among the adherents of varying religions. In conclusion, it notes that there are some good virtues that are associated with religion and religious pluralism that could be harnessed and utilized in our quest for a democratic nationhood.
Religion and Religious Pluralism in Nation-Building: The Nigerian Experience
 
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