Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Albert Kafui Wuaku

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Christine Gudorf

Third Advisor's Name

Whitney Bauman


Sacred Chief, Tradition, Modernity, Globalization, Religious Human Rights

Date of Defense



This study explored the interface between the abuses inherent in the sacred nature of the Akan (a Ghanaian ethnic group) Chief and international human rights laws. It argued that the sacred basis of Akan Chieftaincy, which empowers and legitimizes Akan Chiefs, also leads to them imposing restrictions on the rights of their subjects. The study examined the implications of these restrictions in the light of a rapidly modernizing, thoroughly globalizing, and a religiously pluralistic Ghana where the influence of western originated belief in individual rights is growing. The study also explored why, in spite of the many existing Constitutional and legal provisions in Ghana, breaches of religious freedom still occur. It shed considerable light on how agents of the modern state and the Chiefs, connive to sometimes suppress the rights of individuals. The study identified the implications of this development for policymaking in Ghanaian communities where modernity and tradition co-exist.





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