In The Destruction of Black Civilization, Chancellor Williams writes:
The Blacks’ conception of God was on a scale too grand to be acceptable to Western minds. They had to reduce it by using a term that is equated with paganism, “primitive” backwardness and barbarism. The word is “animism.” But the historian and anthropologist are witnesses against themselves, still proving the very opposite of what they intend. In documenting animism as the chief characteristic of the religion of the Blacks from the remotest times they are also documenting the fact that the Blacks’ belief in the existence as well as the nature of one Universal God also goes back to time immemorial.
And what is animism? As applied to Africans, it is the belief that the spirit of the Creator or the Universal God permeates all of His creations, living and dead. Therefore, any object, animate or inanimate, may be sacred. This concept of God and His creations would be regarded as highly “civilized” if expressed by a Westerner in some such terms as a “reverence for life.” Indeed, precisely the same African religious belief becomes the doctrine of “Immanence” in Christian civilization.”
Food for thought on a Sunday morning.