HomeLUMINAvol. 20 no. 1 (2009)

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: A Redefinition of Religious Values toward a New Social Order in Nigeria

Jacob Kehinde Ayantayo

Discipline: Philosophy, Religion, Sociology



As the whole world moves towards new social order – courtesy of globalization1 this paper posits a need to reconstruct religious values that will fit into it. . This task becomes important given the diverse views and opinions of what constitute religious values among religious adherents. This is evident in the words of Abdul l-Bahai who opines that:


From the beginning of human history down to the present time, it has been observed that the various religions of the world have anathematized and accused each other of falsity.


The urgent questions generated by the above remarks are: which religion is holding true or false value? Since, value is relative to certain degree there is a need for re-definition of religious values worthy of universalizing in the light of the new social order? Social order has to do with social arrangement made towards good relationship among people living in society3. It goes with calm, control, discipline, good behaviour, government, harmony, law and order, obedience, orderliness, and peacefulness as regards interpersonal relationship in society. It is important to note that man in any society lives inter dependently for no one is self sufficient. Nobody can live independent of others and on account society makes rules regarding how each member should behave towards others. Such arrangement brings about shared values and norms in maintaining cohesion in society via value oriented religious beliefs and practices.


Furthermore, this paper identifies these fundamental questions to which it proffers answers: what are religious values? What are its types that necessitate the need for separation of the wheat from the chaff? How do we step down bad values in order to stem the tide of moral crises in Nigeria noting the problems and prospects associated with such an enterprise?