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Ebenezer Blasu

LAHRI / LUCAS Virtual Fellow 2023
Arts, Humanities and Cultures
Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute / Leeds Centre For African Studies

Ebenezer Blasu is currently a Research Fellow at Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, Akuapem-Akropong, Ghana. For the duration of his Fellowship with Leeds he will be working with Dr Stefan Skrimshire (School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science).

Project Abstract

Human Need and Religious Ecology in Africa: A participatory study for a holistic approach to restoring biodiversity (endangered small forests and palm-groves) in Sokpoe ecological area.

Religious ecology in the past sustained individuals and cultures in the face of internal and external ecological threats and so there is a growing consensus that religions may play a significant role now also especially in Africa. Historically, in the primal culture and spirituality of Africans, ecosystems have been sustained by environmental taboos and rituals that serve as major eco-ethical tools.

However, eco-preservation by employing religious ecological ethics, good as they are in themselves, may pose some challenges for contemporary generations.  They are inadequate for replenishment required in modern resource management demanded by population and land use pressures. Apparently, for some traditionalists the needs of economic survival are becoming a significant factor undermining the traditional religious eco-preservation practices.

This project aims to investigate the proposal that sustaining endangered biodiversity - particularly small forests and palm-groves - in Sokpoe ecological area today, requires more than religious eco-ethical principles. Should a more holistic approach, that is, conservation practices that meet or are motivated by current religious, social and economic values or needs of the eco-communities, be required?