Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here


No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Religion in Africa

This paper explores the relevance of gender to the reception of Christianity and to early church life in nineteenth-century Yorubaland. These were profoundly shaped by the gender conceptions prevalent in indigenous society and religion. Though the indigenous gods (orisa) lacked gender as a fixed or intrinsic attribute, gender conceptions were projected on to them. Witchcraft was mostly attributed to women both as its victims and as its perpetrators, and with men and ancestral cults chiefly responsible for its control. There was an overlap between the social placement of witches and Christian converts, both being relatively marginal. Religious practice was also strongly gendered, with women preponderant in the cult of most orisa, but men in the main oracular cult, Ifa. Women found something of an equivalent in the cult of Ori, or personal destiny. The missions initially met their readiest response among young men, who were less tied to the orisa cults than women were. By the second generation the balance shifted, as male prestige values were incompatible with full church membership and women came more to the fore in congregational life. As an aspect of this, the church took on many of the concerns that the orisa cults had offered women—a token of this being the honorific use of the term 'mother'. In the end it is less gender per se than the gender/age conjunction that is critical.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Religion in Africa — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation