On Pursuit of the Purpose of Life: The Shona Metaphysical Perspective

This paper concerns the question of the purpose of human life heretofore referred to as life, as it is traditionally viewed by the Shona people of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. To most 'ordinary people', the question has no immediate answer. To others, there are cu de sacs- dead ends in the debate on purpose of life. To partisans of either position, the question is unworthy discussing. The question however has invited and incited serious debates among metaphysicians and philosophers of religion. It continues to provoke debate because of its continued relevance not only in the Shona culture but to others in Africa and the world-over. There is need therefore for comprehensive research on purpose of life especially from an African perspective where research on the issue is sketchy. This concept paper therefore examines how we can seek to understand the purpose of human life on earth. Logic and Shona metaphysics are used to demonstrate that life on earth exists for a purpose. The paper goes further to establish 'love' as the purpose of life that the Shona people of Mozambique and Zimbabwe acknowledge and foster in their respective societies. In the light of this, the paper contends that the purpose of life acknowledged by the Shona can also apply and cut across other cultures in the region and the world over. Key words: Pursuit, Purpose of life, African philosophy, Shona people, metaphysical perspective.

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