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Open Journal of Philosophy
2013. Vol.3, No.1A, 101-104
Published Online February 2013 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/ojpp) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojpp.2013.31A016
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 101
Dukor’s Theistic Humanism, Panacea to Globalization
Mark Omoro vie Ikeke
Department of Religious Studies and Philosop hy, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
Received November 30th, 2012; revised December 29th, 2012; accepted January 15th, 2013
Globalization is now a force that must be reckoned with. Globalization has both good benefits and nega-
tive effects. This paper examines the benefits and dangers of globalization. The paper uses a critical ana-
lytic method to examine the theistic humanistic philosophy of Maduabuchi Dukor and its contribution in
this time of globalization. The African idea that man can accomplish his highest rooted in theistic values
makes it different from every other form of humanism. The paper concludes and argues that the solution
to the excesses of globalization is theistic humanism.
Keywords: Dukor; Theism; Humanism; Globalization; Africa
Dukor (2007) writes:
Across the length and breadth of Asian and African
communities there is that conscious and inexorable desire
by the people to preserve their aboriginal cultures, retain
their identity and live the authentic life. The authentic
question is not only a cultural question but also a devel-
opment question. If that is the case, we have to review the
relations between the triad problem of authenticity, cul-
ture and developmen t.
The above quotation provides the basis for this paper. It
should be noted that most postcolonial societies have rich and
genuine cultural practices and values that need to be preserved
and promoted. The tragic reality is that some if not most of
these values have been trampled upon and denigrated by colo-
nialism and they are now being continuously destroyed by
Western global capitalist market values. In the midst of the
predicaments that postcolonial societies are passing through at
this time of globalization, we need philosophies that affirm life
and justice to combat the situation. Many philosophies of Afri-
can identity proposed by Contemporary African philosophers
can help in this regard. These philosophies include: Negritude
by Leopold Senghor, Philosophical Consciencism by Kwame
Nkrumah, African Humanism by Kenneth Kaunda, Ujamaa by
Julius Nyerere, and Maduabuchi Dukor’s Theistic Humanism.
Dukor’s Theistic Humanism
In Dukor theistic humanism is the African and philosophic
principle that encapsulates their beliefs about man, God, and
the universe. His idea of theistic humanism is clearly spelt out
in his book, Theistic Humanism of African Philosophy: The
Great Debate on Substance and Method of Philosophy. Theistic
humanism informs and grounds African metaphysics and epis-
temology. Africans are deeply spiritual people and believe that
God created the universe and all that is it including human per-
sons. Africans generally are not atheistic. There is a personal
God and his divine spirit is the life force that permeates all
things in the universe.
It is important to note that his theistic humanism is discussed
often in the light of globalization. In explaining the trends
which globalization follows in history, he listed out five stages
which he begins with animistic globalization which is African
in nature. According to him the humanistic African philosophy
which gives precedence to the activities of human is the central
point which globalization emanate from. He coined the animis-
tic globalization from the ancient African practice of using the
sky and the star to define universal scope of contribution. Du-
kor analogy of the animistic globalization was that of his
grandfather, Gbusuizu Dukor who could utilize the strength of
the rationale in building a well and form economical structure
which is global in its intrinsic nature. Characterized as limited
because it is geographically based on the atmosphere which can
be perceived by Africans.
However, globalization is a variance with the humanistic Af-
rican culture with a cultural horizon. Globalization is a phi-
losophy that is all encompassing of all tribes and nations. Du-
kor on careful examination of the changes the global village
from the animistic to the next stage which is that of the evolu-
tion rise of man i.e. negroid, causasoid and mongoloid. This
phase is that of empires and slavery. Showing a trend in glob-
alization when Africans were sold to Europe to work and labour
freely. European exploitation is revealed as African barely un-
derstanding the trend in globalization that where mainly en-
slaving. On disguise of cultural inter-relation, the third phase
which is that of colonialism that partitioned African continent
into the selfish hands of the European. Championed under the
guise of western education and western religion such as Chris-
tianity, colonialism took over the African soil. Such philosophy
that is exploitative and dehumanizing.
This was immediately followed by the fourth stage which is
the importation of western technologies and scientific ad-
vancement aimed at making African to be totally dependent on
these western technologies which is another stronger form of
neo-colonialism. Finally, the last trend of globalization is that
which integrates people into the world through modern tools of
communication and the united nation such as e-mails, tele-
Upon careful analysis of these stages, Dukor concludes that
M. O. IKEKE
the globalization today is different from that of his grandfather
which he called animistic globalization because the animistic
globalization looks into the betterment of the life of the few
size population, this form is characterized by the global spirit
which ensures that man’s interest is protected by the gods
through the activities of men. On the other hand, he sees glob-
alization, its technological provision and all its vices as another
form of western colonialism. It is that African theistic humanis-
tic value from which globalization arose that can also provide it
a solution. Let us pursue further how to understand globaliza-
tion that theistic humanism can be a solution to.
What Is Globalization?
Globalization is a contested concept. It is a concept loaded
with multiple and multi-variant meanings. There are probably
as many definitions of globalization as you have scholars of
globalization. Its benefits and evils are fought over. Depending
on your viewpoint it can have a remote or proximate origin.
Globalization has to do with the entire globe or world. It is a
worldwide phenomenon. In simple terms, it is the coming to-
gether of all the people and places in the world through all the
means of mass communication and transportation. It is the en-
tire processes involved in the world becoming a global village.
Frontiers and boarders are shrinking
Though right from the dawn of human history it can be ar-
gued that globalization has started; in its more technical sense,
globalization can immediately be said to “having historical
take-off point after the collapsing into a single ideological sys-
tem-capitalism” (Umo, 2007: p. 658).
There are many definitions or understanding of globalization.
Some are presented below:
“Globalization refers to the growing integration of the
world economies. It is the worldwide intermingling of cul-
ture, politics, economics, technology, etc. (Umo, 2007: p.
“Globalization is multi-dimensional, affecting all aspects of
life-economic, cultural, environmental and social-as well as
relations between government and nations of the five con-
tinents (Daouas, 2001).
“This refers to the process by which the world is said to be
transformed into a single global system. It became an issue
of great significance in the 1990s. Aspect of what is now
called globalization was first seriously discussed by soci-
ologists during the 1960s and 1970s (Abecrombie, Hill, &
Turner, 2000: p. 153).
Globalization is primarily based on the elimination of tech-
nical obstacles, rather than economic ones. It is the aboli-
tion of distance and time … The starting point was the
enormous acceleration and global spread of good transport
(Habsbawn, 2000: pp. 62-63).
In 1960, MCLUHAN introduced into the analysis of culture
and the mass media the phase “the global village”, in order
to describe how, in his view, the world was shrinking as a
result of new technologies of communication. In the same
period, changes in the global economy, notably the growth
of multinational companies (MNCs), the expansion of in-
ternational trade, the international division of labour,
prompted the development of the world system theory as a
model of the global economy, in current discussions, glob-
alization has three dimensions or manifestations: Economic,
cultural and political. (Abecrombie, Hill, & Turner, 2000: p.
According to Abercrombie, Hill, and Turner (2000), the
economic dimension refers to “the expansion and transforma-
tion of capitalism into an integrated global economy. The most
important change has been the expansion of world financial
markets. Globalization of culture is said to be the result of rise
of mass tourism, increased migration of people between socie-
ties, the commercialization of cultural products and the global
spread of an ideology of consumerism, which has the effect of
replacing or supplementing more localized cultures. In the po-
litical sphere, globalization has been the rise of international
agencies, including the World Bank, the International Monetary
Fund and the World Trade Organization, which regulates the
global economy and, therefore, set limits on the freedom of the
Globalization has certainly made tremendous impact both
positive and negative on almost every nation and society on
planet earth. Globalization is so vast a topic that it is difficult to
do full justice to it in a short paper like this. There are scores of
resources including books and journal articles on globalization.
Though there are perceived benefits of globalization, most of
the books and journal articles dwell more on the devastating
and negative effects of globalization. This of course shows that
it has more disadvantages than advantage. We now examine
Positive Impacts of Globalization
Globalization is a very controversial phenomenon and it has
a litany of discontents. For some people, globalization as a
“process is unstoppable; therefore nations have to deal with it
one way or another. What are the benefits of globalization, if
any? Globalization has both advantages and disadvantages.
Umo (2007: p. 676) states some of the advantages of globaliza-
The (actual/potential) benefits of globalization especially
to African countries include the following: 1) offering a
wide regional and global market access to economic
goods and services produced within each country; 2) the
potentials for increased trade volume for viable African
economies; 3) greater availability of rare global goods/
service, especially, in science and technology; 4) en-
hancement of product quality; 5) efficiency gains in
product; 6) emergence of regionalism; 7) diversification
of sources of development finance.
In the next section, we will deal with the negative impacts of
globalization. I note here that no matter how devastating the
impact of globalization, it seems to be a force that is ravaging
through the globe. We have no option but to confront it. One of
the ways to confront it is to equally tap the very resources of
globalization and use them to our good. On this Jimmy O. Chi-
jioke writes that we can evolve global mechanism to track and
report corrupt and unethical practices in public services. These
The United Nation’s Global Programme Against Corrup-
tion, designed by the Centre for International Crime Pre-
vention-CICP-in collaboration with, the UN Inter-Re-
gional Crime and Justice Research Institute—UNICRI.
The Programme comprises three main components—Ac-
tion Research (Learning by Doing), Technical Coopera-
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
M. O. IKEKE
tion, and Monitoring and Evaluation. Part of the objec-
tives of the programme is the provision of anti-corruption
tools to raise the probability of detection and the cost of
participation in corruption activities, thereby increasing
the risk of involvement. United Nations Code of Conduct
for Law Enforcement Officials (1996); United Nations
Development against corruption and Bribery in Interna-
tional Commercial Transactions (1996); the Parlemo, Italy,
2000: Manual on Practical Measures Against Corruption
(1977). The Manual contained the following Measures
amongst others (Chijoke, 2007: p. 37).
The events of the coming of western education, international
humanitarian intervention of the United Nations and other
world bodies in failed states and famine ravaged nations to
provide food and other resources are all aspects of globalization.
It will be theoretically/practically wrong to affirm that global-
ization has not brought any benefit at all. H. A. Ekiyor writes:
“Globalization has increased interconnectivity, communication,
transaction and trade among various nations of the world.”
(Ekiyor, 2007: pp. 37-39).
The Negative Impact of Globalization
According to Nwak a ez e a n d Odua (2007: p. 8), Globalization
is founded on such philosophies as Materialism, Monism, Dar-
winism, Naturalism, Consumerism. For them, materialism “re-
duces man to a biological and sentient animal, hence denies the
reality of the spiritual. “Materialism has ravaged every institu-
tion, religion and cultural ones.” Materialism is propelled by a
morality of no morality and so ultimately human rights and
other moral values have no foundations. On Darwinism they
write that it postulates the survival of the fittest. This being the
case it has no respect for the weak and feeble of society that the
historical religious traditions cherishes and they need to be
catered for through social welfare.
Naturalism identifies man with nature and very often disre-
gards the spiritual. It falls into the same problem of materi-
alism. Consumerism places undue belief in materialistic
values of pleasure and consumption. The authors just men-
tioned are right when they argue: “Globalization is not
concerned so much with the individual, ethics, and the
spiritual; it seems to have rhymed with Epicurean belief that
he had liberated man from the fear of man or God, the only
concern in their profits, hence they can use any measure to
get profit” (Nwakaeze & Odua, 2007: p. 8). It creates struc-
tural interdependence making one system or entity depends
on the other, for better or worse (Umo, 2007: p. 658). The
disadvantages associated with globalization include 1) fi-
nancial and economic risks; 2) rising inequality between
nations, regions and individuals; 3) negative impact of
economic reforms, especially on exchange rate depreciation;
4) generating growing external indebtedness; 5) increase in
economic deprivation; 6) constraints on domestic economic
policy making; 7) technological laggardness, especially, of
a digital divide variety; and 8) the brain drain constituting a
dead weight loss to the continent and their affected coun-
tries.” (Umo, 2007: p. 658).
It would seem that the most prominent aspect of globaliza-
tion and the most noticeable is the economic aspect or what is
called economic globalization. This economic dimension con-
stitutes the “core driving forces in the globalization process.”
Umo, 2007) argues that the economic underpinning of global-
ization is threefold. They are: “the collapse of communism and
the subsequent consolidation of liberal capitalism as the domi-
nant economic system,” “the liberal cross-border flow of trade,
finance and labour, ” “the real time exchange of technology and
information system across the entire globe.
It is in the economic dimension that the impact of globaliza-
tion is so devastating. The driving force behind global eco-
nomic markets is of course profit. In capitalism, profit comes
before people. Capitalism is Machiavellian when it comes to
making profits. All is well as far as markets are profitable.
Globalization has no respect for indigenous ecological values
that have helped indigenous people to navigate through the
sorrows and crises of life. International multinational com-
panied can go into indigenous land like those in the Amazon
and Congo in search for mineral resources. Forest and cultural
heritage have been destroyed in the quest for minera l resources.
International multinational corporations can bribe their way
through to ensure they get what they desire. For western capi-
talist prospecting for mineral resources and where to establish
their factories for cheap labour all lands are to be leveled and
developed. There is no place for underdeveloped land. In the
African indigenous traditions, all lands don’t have to be devel-
oped. There is a place for leaving land for recreational and reli-
gious purposes. Banjo (2000: p. 19) is very critical of Western
capitalism when he writes:
These transitional bodies are wicked machines of the im-
perialists, which completely have their pedigrees in the
ideological frameworks of the West and its monopolistic
views of what the world should look like.
Globalization essentially promotes a Eurocentric and West-
ern liberal capitalist market agenda. Odia (2006: p. 280) is right
when he argues:
Western society is capitalist oriented, and technology em-
ploys ca pitalist techniques. These techniques are imported
to technologically backward countries like those in Africa
and they aggravate the problems of the latter. In addition,
it is being argued that the price mechanism, determined by
the west is the newest form of slavery. This makes raw
materials and agricultural products very cheap compared
to the industrial products from the west.
Many authors are right when they argue that: Globalization
essentially has Eurocentric bias and basis. In order words, it is
the celebration of European values and ideas of development
that are often found to be antithetical to African needs. The
globalization of European and American values has often
played a denigrating role in the comprehension of African reali-
ties. Whatever values are projected within the schema of Euro-
centrism, it is clear that without a recourse and adaptation of
local realities, the contours of African political landscape will
continue to witness the ills of disappointments regardless of
how grand the projects of the west may be. In actual fact, many
projects of support and sponsorship to the African continent
express western notions or paradigms of development have
done everything expect to develop the continent. As a matter of
fact, it has succeeded in de-emphasizing the necessity of the
continent’s history in the formation of blueprints of develop-
ment and progress. One fundamental areas of effect is that of
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 103
M. O. IKEKE
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Much of the values of principles promoted through the inter-
net and global satellite technology, and media like CNN, Fox
News, CSpan, etc. are western understanding of reality. There
has been CNNization and McDonaldization of world realities.
This is not to say that all that is western is evil or dangerous.
We have all to certain extent benefited from western education
and technology. This notwithstanding the values we were
taught in our education was western centred values and econo-
mies of western nations. Some years back if you go to study
philosophy, you are taught many courses in western philosophy
but hardly anyone in African philosophy. The continuous
propagation of western values, worldviews and paradigms is
another form of neocolonialism. If we cannot breakthrough in
having an education that is Afrocentric while being open to
pluralism of other cultures in the world, we cannot even meet
the challenges of globalization.
What we need to do is that we should not be passive recipi-
ents of the produces coming from the western world. We must
adapt them and fit them into our own ethical and indigenous
religious values. We must filter what comes into our African
postcolonial situation and ensure that it will build our commu-
nities. There is need for a new ethic to combat the profiteering
spirit of capitalism and global market. It is in this search for a
new ethic to combat globalization in the postcolonial situation
that the philosophy of theistic humanism becomes relevant.
How can we face or confront the predicament that postcolonial
societies face coupled with that of globalization that has wors-
ened the postcolonial situation.
The paper concludes by affirming that theistic humanism as
proposed by Dukor (2010: p. 100) can be a panacea or bulwark
to confront the challenges of globalization. It suffices here, as
this paper is concluding to note that theistic humanism, which
Dukor names as the African Philosophic tradition, has a role to
play in re-directing globalization. What globalization needs to
overcome its weakness and failures is ethical values and these
can be found in African theism. Africans believe in a personal
God the creator of the universe and controller of cosmic destiny.
In the cosmic framework human interest is paramount as God
has placed man at the center of all things. As Dukor affirms,
theism and humanism are compatible in Africa. The African
who believes in God also believes that through divine ethical
values such as generosity, solidarity, hospitality, compassion,
etc the human interest should be nourished and protected. Thus
theistic humanism can help to promote and ethical and people
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