Innocent Izuchukwu Asouzu is a Nigerian Igbo Catholic Priest and Philosopher; born on October 13, 1952 at the commercial Enyimba City of Aba to the merchant family of Mazi Charles Ijeoma Asouzu and Ezinne Juliana Anaezi Asouzu of Aro-ndizuogu.
After his philosophical studies in Nigeria in 1975, he travelled to Austria to continue with his postgraduate studies. He studied Theology to M.A. level at the Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck under the auspices of the Jesuits at Collegium Canisianum. During this time, he came in contact with the writings of Paul Tillich, whose method of correlation he admired, and the works of Wolfhart Pannenberg. His deep interest for social theory is already evident in his M.A. Thesis in Philosophy titled, „Verstehen gesellschaftlicher Handlungen durch Begründungsschritte“ (Rational Steps for the Understanding of Social Action). He did his doctorate studies in philosophy and sociology at the Geisteswissenschaftliche Fakultät (Faculty of Humanities) of the University of Innsbruck where he continued with his interest in social theory. His Ph.D. Dissertation was devoted to a critical disagreement with some of the basic ideas of Erlangen School of Philosophy. The dissertation bore the title “Gesellschaftliche Konflicktregelung Als Pragmatische Aufgabe. Eine kritische Betrachtung des Konstrutivismus” (Practical Regulation of Social Conflicts. A Critical Consideration of Constructivism). An extract from his dissertation was published by the Austrian philosophical academy upon request under the title -- “Eine Analyse und kritische Bewertung der Methode und des Prinzips der praktischen Argumentation Oswald Schwemmers”. in: Conceptus, Journal of Philosophy, 18(1984) No. 44, pp. 85-103. Asouzu has devoted his life towards working out a complementary social theory for the regulation of conflicts and this has crystalized into his Ibuanyidanda Philosophy or Complementary Reflection. The seminal ideas of his theory are already contained in his early writings that include 1) “Kritische Betrachtung des konstruktiven Wissenschaftstheorie. Erwägungen zu praktisch-philosophischen Konfliktsregelungsstrategien” (A Critical Consideration of the Constructive Philosophy of Science. Strategies towards practical Philosophical Regulation of Conflicts) Georg Olms Publishers in Hildesheim, Germany, 1984 2). “Gedanken über die religiöse Problematik der Gegenwart im Licht der Theologie der Religionen” (Reflections On the Contemporary Problems of Religion in the Light of Theology of Religions): In this work on religion, Asouzu sought to offer insight into how mutual harmony can be achieved in the co-existence of diverse religions of the world; a cause that has always agitated his mind for which he was invited on November 30, 1995, to give a public lecture held in Feldbach, Austria and organised by URANIA on "Meine Erfahrung im Zusammenleben mit Moslems" i.e. "My experience living with moselms". Radio Gloria Switzerland equally invited Asouzu in 2013 to deliver a scholarly lecture on ibuanyidanda philosophy towards promotion of mutual coexistence among peoples. Asouzu spoke on the theme: “IBUANYIDANDA UND DIE HERAUSFORDERUNGEN DER DOPPELWERTIGKEIT UNSERER LEBENSERFAHRUNGEN” i.e. “ibuanyidanda and the ambivalent challenges of Life”
Prof. Asouzu was ordained Catholic priest in Austria in 1979. On returning to Nigeria in 1986 he worked briefly in his diocese, Aba, before taking a permanent teaching appointment at the University of Calabar in 1988. He has since then been teaching at this University and researching intensively into the theoretical preconditions of mutual coexistence between units within any given framework. This gave rise to his ibuanyidanda philosophy, in which he succeeded in articulating his idea into a system with its own principles and method of investigating reality. Since the application of Asouzu’s ibuanyidanda philosophy to African philosophy, African philosophy has noticed tremendous positive changes as it steers a systematic course. Variants of his complementary philosophy are trending among reputed African philosophers who draw inspiration from his ideas. His wide raging influence in African philosophy can be seen in Compatibility Theory, Integrative Humanism, Consolationism, variants of tree valued logic, Ezumezu Logic, Harmonious Monism, Conceptual Mandelisation etc. Besides, his ideas have influenced a new generation of young ambitious scholars who are bent on changing the major contours of African philosophy for good, as can be attested to by the number of critical essays and works written on Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda Philosophy (Complementary Reflection) by professional national and international scholars alike. The same can be said of the numerous Ph.D. Dissertations, M.A. Theses and scientific projects that have been articulated on and around Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda Philosophy. The idea of complementarity which Asouzu espouses is so important for African philosophy that Heinz Kimmerle designates it as: “the specific contribution of African philosophy to world philosophy” (“An Amazing Piece of Comparative Philosophy”. In: Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies], pp221-223, 2014. Vol 1)
Fr. Prof. Asouzu, as a major proponent of Complementary Philosophy (Ibuanyidanda) in contemporary African Philosophy, has been consistent in developing his system as is shown in the collection of his essays: “Ikwa Ogwe”. Besides his numerous essays published in highly reputed national and international journals, that reflect the systematic application of his thinking to diverse areas of knowledge, Asouzu has tried to give a systematic account of his thinking in his major books but most especially in these works: 1) The Method and Principles of Complementary Reflection in and beyond African Philosophy. Lit Verlag, Münster, New Brunswick, London, 2005. 533 pages. 2) “Redefining Ethnicity Within ‘The Complementary System of Thought’ in African Philosophy”. In: Re-ethnicizing the Minds? Cultural Revival in Contemporary Thought. Edited by Thorsten Botz-Bornstein and Jürgen Hengelbrock. Amsterdam/New York, 2006. pp. 63-78. 3) Ibuanyidanda. New Complementary Ontology. Beyond World-Immanentism, Ethnocentric Reduction and Impositions. Litverlag, Münster, Zurich, New Brunswick, London, 2007. 440 pages. 4) Ibuarụ. The Heavy Burden of Philosophy beyond African Philosophy. Litverlag, Münster, Zurich, New Brunswick, London, 2007. 335. 5) Ikwa Ogwe. Essential Readings in Complementary Reflection. A systematic methodological Approach. Saesprint Publishers, Calabar, 2007. 439 pages. 6) -- Ibuanyidanda (Complementary Reflection) and Some Basic Philosophical Problems in Africa Today. Sense Experience, “ihe mkpuchi anya” and the Super-maxim. Litverlag, Münster, Zurich, Vienna, 2013, 120 pages. For many reputed scholars, Asouzu’s approach is a major breakthrough in what is known as African philosophy. He was honoured with an award in 2014 by The Philosophical Association of Nigeria in recognition of his invaluable contributions to African philosophy.
As a member of University of Calabar community, Fr. Prof. Asouzu has served meritoriously in various capacities as Head of Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy (1996-1998), as the Dean of Arts (2007-2009), and as a member of the University Senate, among others. He was the priest in charge of St. Paul’s Parish, University of Calabar from 1987-1990. He is a member of many professional bodies including the Nigerian Philosophical Association; National Association of African Religion and Culture; Catholic Theological Association of Nigeria.
As a Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Asouzu has served as pastor of souls in diverse capacities within an outside Nigeria.
Some Works on Innocent I. Asouzu
Ada, Agada: Towards the 21st Century Globalisation of African Philosophy. The Consolationist Manifsto and the New Testament from Africa: Athenaeum Library of Philosophy (2010)
Akpan, Chris. "Ambivalence of Human Existential Situation: A Veritable Index of Rational Explanation". In: American Journal of Social and management Sciences, Vol.2 No.1, March 2011, pp.1-10.
Akpan, Chris and Mary J. Egbai. Complementary ethical reflection and the ‘culture of normalizing anomalies’ in Nigeria. in: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Akpan Chris and Lucky U. Ogbonna. "Between Sartre's Cat And Mouse
OntologyAnd Asouzu's Ibuanyidanda: How Not to Implore Interpersonal
Relations". In American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities. Vol. 3, Iss. 3, May 2013
Essien, Ephraim Stephen. The meanings of complementarity in physics and philosophy and their intersection with compatibility principle. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Dimgba, Dimgba Esowe. Explanation, supernaturalism and complementary rationality. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Edet, Mesembe. Being as “missing links”. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Edor, John Edor. The legitimizing role of the concept of joy-of-being in Asouzu’s complementary reflection and the socio-political philosophies of Locke and Hobbes. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Egbe, Chidimma Ogbonna. The epistemological implications of Asouzu’s ‘ima–onwe–onye” or “being–in–control”. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection:Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Enyimba, Maduka: Kant's Metaphysics of Subjectivity and Asouzu's idea of "Joy of Being".
Etta, Emmanuel Efem, Joseph Nkang Ogar. Explanation as a comprehensive task in complementary reflection. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1.
Emmanuel Efem Etta, Joseph Nkang Ogar. Being as being and complementary reflection. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection:Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1.
Ibrahim, Adekunle Adeshemola. Religious intolerance and Asouzu’s complementary Ontolog. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Ikegbu, Ephraim, Patrick Mbum, Francis Ofoegbu. Imperialism and the African desire for “ibuanyidanda” for economic growth. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Njiofor Justin Chukwubude. Peter Bodunrin on the Trends in African Philosophy. (M.A. Dissertation, 2009, UNIPORT, Nigeria)
Okeke, Jonathan Chimakonam. Dissecting the character of “danda” the ant and neutralizing the philosophy of missing links: An “egbe n’ ugo” conundrum. In: Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu, October 2011 1/1
Chimakonam, O. Jonathan. Introducing African Science. Systematic and Philosophical Approach: Studies in African Philosohy, Science, Logic and Mathematics, Vol One. Author House, Bloomington, IN, 2012.
Ozumba, Godfrey. Philosophy and Method of Integrative Humanism. Calabar, Joechrisam Publishers, 2010.
Ozumba, Godfrey and Ahamefula Ephraim Ikegbu. The Insufficiency of Humans and the Logic of Complementarity in the 21st Century. In: Integrative Humanism Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1. 2012.
Ukagba G. and Nnabueze U. Universalism, Relativism and Intercultural Philosophy. A Complementary Reflection. In Amamihe. Journal of Applied
Philosophy. Vol 9, San Press, 2011.
Some important Conference Papers on Ibuanyidanda Philosophy
Asouzu Innocent. “Science and African Metaphysics: A Search for Direction” at the
20th World Congress of Philosophy (WCP), Boston USA, 10-18 August, 1998
<![if !supportLists]>- <![endif]>“The Challenges of Super-maxim to Judgment and Actions" at the 2008 Biennial General Meeting and Conference of the Nigerian Philosophical Association (NPA) University of Calabar, October 8-11, 2008
Peter Daniel Edeh. “The Concept of ‘Akpang’ and Ontological
Boomerang Effect: A Complementary Reflection in African
Philosophy” at the 23 World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) ,
Athens (Zografos) 4-10 August 2013
Mesembe Edet and Chima Uduma. “System Building in Contemporary
African Philosophy. The Ibuanyidanda Approach” at the 23 World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) , Athens (Zografos) 4-10 August 2013
Ephraim Stephen Essien. “The meaning of Complementarity in Physics and
African Philosophy and their Intersection with Compatibility Theory” at the 23 World Congress of Philosophy (WCP) , Athens (Zografos) 4-10 August 2013
Some important research Works in Ibuanyidanda Philosophy
Ekpo Benjamin Akaninyene. Leadership and Self-interest in Asouzu: Its Relevance to the Nigerian Situation (B.A. Thesis 2005)
Egbai Uti Ojah. Complementarity as a Panacea to Contemporary Problems in Physics (M.A. Dissertation, 2005).
Esu Thomas Ejamot. The Dialectics in Asouzu’s Complementary Reflection and the Principle of Contradiction. A Critique (M.A. Dissertation, 2006).
Inyang Ofem John. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: A Principle for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (Ph.D. Dissertation, 2006).
Onwubuariri, Francis. Appraising the Osu Caste System in Igbo Land within the Context of Complementary Reflection (B.A. Thesis 2007)
Eze Felix Chibueze. Asouzu’s Concept of Missing Link as a Panacea to the Problem of Socio-political Fragmentation in Nigeria (B.A. Thesis 2008)
- Akpan Christopher Offong. An Appraisal of Asouzu’s Complementary Reflection as a Model of Explanation for Social Sciences (Ph.D. Dissertation, 2008).
- Ibrahim Shakiru Adeshemola. Religious Intolerance and Asouzu's Complementary Ontology. A Philosophical Appraisal of The Nigerian Experience (M.A. Dissertation, 2009)
- Edor John Edor. An Application of Asouzu’s Complementary Reflection in the Development of an International Jurisprudence. Focus on the United Nations Charter (Ph. D. Dissertation, 2010).
- Odok Joseph Abang. An Application of Asouzu’s Complementary Reflection to the Niger Delta Question: Implications for Peace, Security and Development in Nigeria (M.A. Dissertation, 2008).
- Mesembe Ita Edet. The Application of the Methodology of Complementary Reflection in an Enquiry Concerning Traditional African Cultural Values and the Development of Afrixiology (Ph.D. Dissertation 2009)
- Solomon Kingsley Christopher. Logical Positivist Critique of Metaphysics and the Idea of Missing Link in Asouzu´s Ibuanyidanda Philosophy (M.A. Dissertation 2012).
- Ogbonnaya Lucky Uchenna. A Comparative Analysis of the Notion of Being in Sartre’s and Asouzu’s Metaphysics (M.A. Dissertation 2013).
Oguh Ifeanyi Joseph, „Ibuanyidanda Philosophy a Rationale for Separation of Powers in Nigerian Democracy“ ( Ph.D. Dissertation 2013)
Etta Peter Tawor. “An Application of Asouzu’s Complementary Ontology to the Problem of Ethnic idolization in Nigeria (M.A. Dissertation 2013)
Some important controversies on Ibuanyidanda philosophy
Gmainer-Pranzl: zu: Innocent Izuchukwu Asouzu: The Method and Principles of Complementary Reflection in and beyond African Philosophy. In: Polylog. Zeitschrift für interkulturelles Philosophieren. 15 (2006).
Graness, Anke. Einleitung zu H. Kimmerle: „Die schwere Last der Komplementarität in: In: Polylog. Zeitschrift für interkulturelles Philosophieren. 19, 2008
Kimmerle Heinz: Die schwere Last der Komplementarität: Antwort auf Innocent I. Asouzus Kritik an der interkulturellen Philosophie. In: Polylog. Zeitschrift für interkulturelles Philosophieren. 19, 2008
Some highlights from the media:
20th May 2011 7 pm: Interview on Nigerian Television (NTA), Calabar on the basic assumptions of Ibuanyidanda Philosophy
25th January 2013, 11.00 - 11. 50am: - Invited Public lecture on Ibuanyidanda Philosophy: Broadcast live over Radio Gloria, Switzerland (available worldwide over live-Streams in internet). Topic: “Ibuanyidanda und die Herausforderungen der Doppelwertigkeit unserer Lebenserfahrungen”. Lecture billed for repeat-broadcast.
Some Known Ongoing Research Works 2014 -
Imo State University, Owerri
“Igbo Communitarianism: An Appraisal of Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda Philosophy” PhD. Dissertation by Innocent C. Egwutuorah. Moderators: Prof. J. I. Okonkwo and Prof. G. E. Ekwuru
University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
"Common Good in Julius Nyerere's Ujamaa and Innocent Asouzu's Complementary Reflection: Implications for Nigeria's Development". PhD Dissertation by Njiofor, Justin Chukwubude. Supervisors: Dr. Edward U. Ezedike and Dr. Christian C. Emedolu.
Bigard Major Seminary Enugu
"Ibuanyidanda: A Super Maxim that Limits our Judgemental Objective " B.A. Dissertation by Emmanuel Chinemerem. Moderator: Rev. Dr. Ohajiobodo Oko
Seat of Wisdom Seminary, Owerri
Nwabueze Emmanuel Chijioke. A Critique of Contextualism and Absolutism in Asouzu (B.A. Thesis 2013)
University of Calabar, Calabar
“A Comparison of Complementary Reflection and Integrative Humanism”. M.A. Dissertation by Friday Achu. Moderator: Prof. Godfrey Ozumba
“An Ontological Deconstruction of Androcentrism and Mysogynism in the Context of Asouzu’s Complementary Reflection”. M. A. Dissertation by Ujoh, E. Raphael. Moderator: Prof. Olu-Jacob
“Application of Asouzu’s Complementarism on Policy-Making in Nigeria”. B.A. Dissertation by Emmanuel Michael. Moderator: Dr. Asira Asira.
“A Critique of Descartes’s Notion of Truth using Asouzu’s Complementary Reflection”. M.A. Dissertation by Offiong George Michael. Moderator: Dr. A. E. Asira
“A. J. Ayer’s Verificationism and Quest for Ibuanyidanda Integrative Interpretation of Science”. Ph.D. Dissertation by Solomon Kingsley Christoper. Moderator: Fr. Prof. Asouzu
“Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda Philosophy: An Alternative Approach to the Practice of Education in Nigeria”. Ph.D. Dissertation by Ezeugwu, Umezurike John. Moderators: Prof. A. F. Uduigwomen and Dr. M. I. Mesembe
“An Appraisal of the Metaphysical Foundation of African Logic from the Perspective of Ibuanyidanda Ontology”. Ph.D. Dissertation by Lucky U. Moderators: Prof. C. O. Ijiomah and Dr. J. O. Chimakonam.
“The notion of being in African Philosophy. An Appraisal from the perspective of Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda”. M.A. Dissertation by Udo, Stephen Stanislaus. Moderator: Fr. Prof. Asouzu.
“An appraisal of Whitehead’s Process Philosophy in the Light of Asuzu’s Ibuanyidanda”. M..A. Dissertation by Aniah, Michael Leo. Moderator: Fr. Prof. Asouzu.
“A Comparative Analysis of Plato’s Concept of Education and Innocent Asouzu’s Noetic Propaedetic” M.A. Dissertation byUshingio Peter Ushingio. Moderator Dr. Mesembe Ita Edet
“The Schism between Natural Theory and Legal Positivism: Towards Complementary Jurisprudence” by Odok, Joseph Abang” Ph.D. Dissertation. Moderators Prof. G.O, Ozumba and Dr. J. E. Edor.
Asouzu’s Ibuanyidanda Philosophy as an Alternative Approach to Problem of Education in Nigeria” Ph.D. Dissertation by Ezugwu, Umezurike. Moderators Prof. A. F. Uduigwomen and Dr. M. I. Edet
“A Comparative Analysis of Coherentist Criterion of Knowledge and Innocent Asouzu’s Complementary Ontology and its implications for Human Society” Ph.D. Dissertation by Ujoh Emmanuel R. Moderators Dr M. I. Edet and Prof. A. F. Uduigwomen
Ibuanyidanda Journal: “Journal of Complementary Reflection: Studies in Asouzu” Published by the Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.