Contrast of Worldview Philosophies – African and European

The following lists summarize the basic concepts of the African and the European World-Views

Orville Boyd Jenkins


AFRICAN

 EUROPEAN

Religious – God the Creator (though far away). All things are related.

Secular – A set order in the universe, independent existence, naturalistic view.

Spirit-World – Many factors in life cannot be known, controlled or predicted. Humans are at the mercy of the forces of life. Resignation to conditions.

Scientific Approach – Describe, Control, Manipulate; Change your destiny. Aggressive. Frustration with failure.

Dynamic – An active world seen in relational terms.

Mechanical – Static, Cause-effect. Linear concepts. Productivity; Organization.

Relationship – Truth is in Experience and Relationship.  

Knowledge – Facts are important. Truth is in correlation of statement to observable, testable phenomena.

Event – Meaning Centers in the Verb: Event Primary.

Substance – Noun-Adjective: Entity and Description primary.

Focus on Present – The world is uncontrollable. Immediacy. Presence of an individual takes precedence over plans.

Predictability – Reproducible phenomena, Probability. Planning a high value. Same result from same factors every time.

Group Identity--Obligations. Commitment to the Group.

Individualistic -- Rights. Commitment to Principle.

First published in the book Dealing with Differences: Contrasting the African and European Worldviews, 1991.
Copyright © Orville Boyd Jenkins 1991, 2004
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use. Other rights reserved.
Orville Jenkins Thoughts and Resources

Go To Worldview Perspectives
What is Worldview? | Culture and Experience | How Do You Know? | Cognitive and Social Culture | Worldview Noise in Communication
Worldview in Language:  Language and Thought | Worldview in Language:  Identity and Relationship
Aspects of Biblical vs. Muslim Worldviews