Scramble for Souls

Scramble for Souls: Scrutinizing the Nature, Growth, Impact and Competing Claims to
Ori-oke in Ilorin, Nigeria


The research focuses on the impact of Ori-oke (mountain prayer) on the daily spirituality of
the people in Ilorin, North central Nigeria. The research approaches Ori-oke from the prism of
compatibility of the Christian gospel with diverse human cultures and social change.
What are the salient recipes for ori-oke’s unparalleled success? How does its nature and traits
relate to Christian faith? These questions call for scholarly research. Empirical and expository
methods would be employed. The research tools would be oral interviews and participatory
observations during prayer sessions.

This research is intended to accomplish two basic objectives. First, to make an in-depth
investigation into the nature of Ori-oke with respect to peoples’ cultural identity, spirituality
and compatible imperative of the Christian gospel. Second, seek to unravel the centrality of
the Holy Spirit in Ori-oke vis-à- vis divine-human relations, including the transformative
elements manifest in people’s daily spirituality. Ori-oke or mountain prayer is an integral
component of African Spirituality, re-emerging in contemporary time. Understanding it is one
of the great gaps in the education of most Christians about our culture, but it needs to be well
researched, well-articulated and scientifically interpreted. Hence, this research proposal
would manage to achieve all this, and the findings deserve to be taken up by academic and
seminary courses as well as by the interested policy institutions. At the end, we hope to gain a
fresh grasp of how the Christian faith is gaining acceptance in contemporary Africa and that
the handing on of the faith would be better rooted in social context.

Principal Investigator: Fr. Patrick U. Nwosu, Department of Religions, University of Ilorin,
Nigeria

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