Paganism in Purple Hibiscus


·       Although it is hard to define Paganism, many characterize it as representing a wide variety of traditions that “emphasize reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic and animistic religious practices.”

·       Paganism is not a traditional religion because it does not have an official doctrine.

·       Pagan is considered a blanket term for any religion that isn’t Abrahamic.

·       Heathenism is a branch of paganism that is of Norse nature.

·       Ritual magic is included in some pagan traditions, but it is not universal.




·       “I don’t like to send you to the home of a heathen, but god will protect you” (Adichie 62). –Eugene

·       “He was talking to the gods or the ancestors; I remembered Aunty Ifeoma saying the two could be interchanged” (Adichie 167). -Kambili

·       “And I imagined our forebears a century ago, the ancestors Papa-Nnukwa prayed to, charging to defend their hamlet, coming back with lolling heads on long sticks” (Adichie 183). -Kambili



·       In many pagan traditions, practitioners choose to have a household shrine to their ancestors, deity of their path, or other spirits.

·       Shrines are used for meditation, offerings to gods, and for rituals.

·       Pagans see nature as its own divine force, worthy of human respect and adoration.

·       Some Pagans view nature as a god/goddess that should be worshipped.

·       Polytheism, belief of many gods/goddesses, is a common view among pagans.

·       Animism, the belief that plants, animals, and other inanimate objects have their own spirit worthy of respect, is another common belief.

·       Similar to nature, ancestors are highly respected and prayed to.

·       Ancestor worship is not a new concept and many perform rituals and have celebrations to honor them.


·       Neopaganism is the reconstruction of old and abandoned pagan religions.

·       Wicca is a Neopaganism, Earth-centered religion that involved witchcraft.

·       The Goddess Movement, which is also neo-pagan, focuses on goddess worship as a reaction to male-dominated religion.

·       Another neo-pagan religion, Celtic Druidism, focuses on the worship of nature and respect of all beings.



Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Purple Hibiscus: A Novel. Chapel Hill: Algonquinof Chapel Hill, 2003. Print.

"Neopagan & Pagan Religious Traditions." NEO-PAGAN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015.

"Paganism." Pagan Origins, Pagan History, Pagan Beliefs. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2015.