African Studies | Topics in African Studies
L400 | 27019 | David Adu-Amankwah

Occultism in Africa

Belief in the occult has been solidly established as a universal
dimension of human experience. There is always the tendency to limit
occultism to witchcraft and magic, but the spectrum of the occult is
broad enough to cover aspects of what might otherwise be termed
religion (Kiernan, 2006). This course examines the concept of the
occult, identifying some of the major forms it takes among Africans
in the region of Sub-Saharan Africa, and exploring its power and
influence within the selected region. At the end of the course
students will have a clear intellectual understanding of occult
practice in Africa and the major role it plays in the traditional

For the purposes of this course, the student must be willing to set
aside all his or her preconceptions about paranormal claims. The
goal of the course is not to persuade the student to believe or
disbelieve any particular proposition, and he or she must be willing
to examine all paranormal questions objectively.