On Divinities: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Yoruba and Chinese Divinities

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Banwo, A.O.
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Traditional societies such as the Yoruba and the Chinese share a lot in common. Their values and traditions are modelled on rules and regulations set by supernatural beings or deities. Both societies have historical trajectories that reveals that certain deities have transcendental origins, unique attributes and supreme qualities that are based on an unquestionable truth. The Yoruba cosmology discloses the supremacy of Olódùmarè, who is seen as a supreme being and whose power is absolute. His uniqueness and preeminence is seen by all and acknowledged accordingly. Also from Yoruba cosmology we learn that the Orisas are divinities because they are seen as the offspring of Olódùmarè. Other Yoruba divinities include obatala (lady of mercy), Ogun (the patron of blacksmiths, metallurgists, soldiers, hunters), Sango (the divinity of vengeance) and Osun Seegesi (the elegant deity of wealth). In Chinese cosmology, Shangdi 上帝 is the Chinese terminology for the highest deity in their classical texts. This connotation is embedded in the meaning of primordial deity or first deity in Chinese classical texts. Shangdi just like Olódùmarè has other divinities that assist it in the control of the universe. These divinities are in control of different parts of the earth and human life. Amongst others, Chinese cosmology centers on other deities such as Tiāngōng 天公who is seen as the "Duke of Heaven" or "General of Heaven"; Tiānjūn 天君who is connoted as the "Prince of Heaven" or "Lord of Heaven". In a nutshell, Chinese divinities can be grouped under divinities of human virtues and crafts, divinities of celestial and terrestrial phenomena and cosmic gods. This research work intends to compare and contrast selected divinities of the Yoruba and the Chinese. It also aims to reveal how these cultures perceive and uphold their divinities.
Supreme Being , Tradition , cosmology and divinities
Olaniyi, B. A. (2018). On Divinities: A Comparative Analysis of Selected Yoruba and Chinese Divinities. ILORIN JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, 8(2), 103.