President Muhammadu Buhari has saluted Professor Jacob K. Olupona on his 70th birthday, wishing him, his family, friends, acquaintances and the academia a most memorable milestone celebration.
The President applauded the professor for the decades of research and accompanying rigour deployed into the research on indigenous African religions.
Olupona, based on his efforts, has earned a place at the Harvard Divinity School, with joint appointment as Professor of African and African-American Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University.
Olupona was also a Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award winner in 2007.
He also the 2018 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion in the United States..
President Buhari commended the Professor for his research works into African spirituality, Pentecostalism, Yoruba festivals, Religious Pluralism in Africa and the Americas, among others.
He noted that the renowned academic has spent the past five decades, sharing and imparting knowledge globally.
He wished him longer life and good health and urged the younger generation to derive inspiration from his sterling achievements.
Olupona, born in Ondo, attended University of Nigeria, Nsukka, graduating in 1975 with BA Honours.
He then went to Boston University for his MA and Ph.D.
He has authored five books and edited six others.
Among the books is Kingship, Religion, and Rituals in a Nigerian Community: A Phenomenological Study of Ondo Yoruba Festivals.
This has been used for ethnographic research among Yoruba-speaking communities.
In 2012, he published Ile-Ife: The City of 201 Gods.
The book examines the modern urban mixing of ritual, royalty, gender, class, and power, and how the structure, content, and meaning of religious beliefs and practices permeate daily life.