The Agikuyu concept of THAHU and its bearing on the biblical concept of sin
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This study attempted to analyze the Agikuyu concept of thahu in relation to the Christian concept of sin thus drawing the similarities and differences. The term thahu is taken to mean the consequence of one's action against a prohibition. The prohibitions (migiro) and curses (irumi) are among the major causes of thahu. The Agikuyu concept of thahu is closely related to the Christian concept of sin in that both cause separation and alienation between the offenders and God and the rest of humanity. The study is divided into five chapter. The first chapter introduces the study and gives a brief survey of the Agikuyu religiosity. The views expressed by various scholars, on sin, taboo and thahu are reviewed. Chapter two analyzes the relationship between thahu, kirumi and mugiro in terms of their causes and effects. The chapter also identifies and describes the major causes of thahu and the purification ceremonies. Chapter two ends with an assertion that thahu is not synonymous to mugiro and kirumi but mugiro and kirumi are among the causes of thahu. The third chapter compares thahu and sin in terms of their causes and effects. Comparisons are drawn between the Agikuyu prohibitions and the law of Moses as outlined in the book of Leviticus. The theological concept of original sin is also compared to thahu. The chapter draws the conclusion that in both sin and thahu, separation and alienation are experienced by the offender and that the offender has to take the initiative to seek purification. Chapter four highlights the views expressed by members of our contemporary Kenyan society concerning sin and thahu. The chapter as well outlines cases of thahu and sin viewed as causes of communal disasters in both the traditional and contemporary society. Chapter four also discusses the role played by parents, teachers and religious leaders in providing moral education for the youth today. The fifth chapter is a conclusion which gives the major findings of the study. Thahu is related to mugiro and kirumi in terms of their causes and effects but the three terms are not synonymous. Thahu which is the consequence of one's action against a prohibition was a major means of enhancing moral uprightness among the Agikuyu. In both thahu and sin, the elements of disorder and disintegration are introduced and separation emphasized.