Wednesday, March 2, 2016


“Religion historian Martin S. Jaffee answers questions about three of the world’s major religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—in this question-and-answer series. As a professor of comparative religion and Jewish studies at the University of Washington inSeattle, Jaffee is uniquely qualified to discuss areas of commonality among the three religions. For example, do all three believe in an afterlife? Jaffee also explores Jewish mysticism and the origins of Christian baptism, among a number of other issues.” Unedited from here to the end from Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia
Questions and Answers about Religion
Q: Which religions believe in an afterlife?

A: Virtually all known religious traditions, whether monotheistic or polytheistic, whether the product of a simple or complex society, share to some degree a common idea: that there is an element of the human person that is independent of the physical body and survives the body’s death. Religions differ dramatically, however, on how they define this nonphysical aspect of the person, how they imagine its origin and destiny, and the degree to which belief in this nonphysical aspect plays a role in the daily lives of individuals.

In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam this aspect of the person is usually called the 'soul.' It is understood to be the creation of God, sent into a physical body to serve the Creator and destined to return to the Creator after the death of the body. At some points in the history of each tradition, the fate of the soul has preoccupied the lives of believers and led to great acts of self-denial with the goal of lessening the body’s power over the soul and hastening the soul’s ascent to God. At other times, particularly in the scientific culture that has dominated much of the world since the 19th century, many forms of Christianity and Judaism in particular have sought to redefine the nature of the soul in ways compatible with modern psychological or moral theories.

Similarly, conceptions of the life of the soul after death have undergone a variety of transformations. Each tradition in its classical form imagines a final historical moral accounting in which the souls of the dead are reunited with their former bodies in a mass resurrection and are judged for eternal reward or punishment. Again, in modern times, many Christian and Jewish communities have rejected such beliefs as unscientific. But even in the 21st century, most Muslims, and many members of the more 'traditional' forms of Christianity and Judaism, continue to affirm the reality of the soul's survival after death and the promise of a future judgment at the time of the resurrection.

Q: How has the practice of Judaism in the United States been affected by American culture?

A: Dozens of thoughtful books have been written on this subject over the past 50 years. However, in this context it is impossible to describe all the changes, large and small, that American Jews of the past several generations have introduced into the ritual practices and customs that their ancestors brought to North America.

Perhaps the most important change, upon which so many other things depend, is the universal adoption by American Jews of a typically 'American' concept of religion. That is, religion is a matter of private conscience that can’t be regulated by the government; to affiliate or not to affiliate with a religious community is a matter of personal choice; and even one who joins a religious community is free to shape its discipline to his or her own taste and needs.

The enormous diversity of religious practices within and across the spectrum of 'organized' Jewish religious communities embodies these principles. American Jews choose to be Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, New Age, or even 'secular' Jews; more importantly, within those specific choices they craft and shape their lives in accordance with a wide range of norms derived from the larger American culture and interpreted through the filter of many forms of Jewish religious tradition. I often tell my students that, in discussing American Judaism, almost anything you can say about it will be true and false at the same time.

Here are three books I recommend on American Judaism:
1. Glazer, Nathan. American Judaism. 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press, 1972.
2. Eisen, Arnold M. Taking Hold of Torah: Jewish Commitment and Community in America. Indiana UniversityPress, 1997.
3. Heilman, Samuel C. Portrait of American Jews: The Last Half of the 20th Century. University of WashingtonPress, 1995.

Q: Are there any precedents for Christian baptism?

A: Water is among the most universal of religious symbols. Whether as rain, sea, pool, or flood, water's life-giving and cleansing nature have made it a rich symbolic vehicle for ideas about spiritual cleansing, rebirth, eternal life, and so on. Immersions in pools of water or rivers for purposes of spiritual cleansing and renewal are known throughout the world’s religions and often predate the emergence of the monotheistic religions.

Christian baptism has its roots in Jewish practices that originated in rules from the biblical Book of Leviticus. A key assumption of that book is that contact with death, blood, certain bodily fluids, certain kinds of animals, certain types of skin ailments, and so on convey to men and women a condition of uncleanness. This uncleanness is not “dirt” from a hygienic point of view. Rather, it is a pollutant that renders a person incapable of approaching the place of divine worship until the pollutant is removed by a ritual rinsing of the body.

In postbiblical times, the custom emerged among Jews to use immersion pools for the purpose of such ritual cleansing. Special cisterns have been found throughout Israel that were constructed for such immersion. Those entering these pools in states of uncleanness emerged in purity. They could then make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem and enter it to offer sacrifices.

Christian baptism descends from this Jewish idea of cleansing. Ancient Jews had already begun to see moral flaw as a pollutant that could be washed away through immersion. Among early Christians, baptism was seen as an act of penitence that cleansed a person from former sins. More importantly, it came to be seen as a ritual that transformed a person's relationship to God by conducting one into the community of those saved by the sacrifice of God's son. Thus, in Christianity, the cleansing power of water comes to represent the capacity of the soul to be purged of sin and death and to be purified and transformed into a being awaiting eternal life.

Q: Do different denominations use different versions or translations of the Bible?

A: The most important difference in versions of the Bible is the difference between the Jewish and Christian collections of Scripture. In Judaism, the term Bible refers to the 24 books that make up what Christians call the Old Testament. These are ancient Jewish writings believed to have been revealed directly to prophets such as Moses or to have been inspired in the minds of later prophets, such as Jeremiah. Jews call these books collectively by the title of Tanach, which is an acronym for the Hebrew words for law,prophets, and the writings—the three kinds of books that make up the Hebrew Scriptures.

There was no Old Testament until the 2nd or 3rd century AD, when emerging Christian communities began to collect their own authoritative writings that sought to interpret the meaning of the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. This emerging collection of writings was understood to testify to a “new covenant” or “new testament” that God had entered into with the church. Gradually the Christian scriptures themselves came to be called theNew Testament, while the ancient Jewish scriptures were called the Old Testament.

To this day, Christian editions of the Bible include both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Jewish editions contain only the Tanach. The term Old Testament is not used among Jews, since they do not recognize the authority of the New Testament.

There are currently hundreds of different English translations of the various versions of the Bible. The most famous is the Authorized Version of King James from the 16th century. This version is the basis of most Bible translations in use among Protestants. There are a number of Bible translations that reflect Catholic interpretive traditions, such as the Jerusalem Bible. Most Jewish communities prefer the various translations published during the 20th century by the Jewish Publication Society. All of these differ from one another in many subtle and not so subtle ways. But that is a topic for another time.

Q: What is the difference between a child baptism and an adult baptism? Is one more correct than the other?

A: Baptism is one of the essential rites for entry into the Christian community. Historically it has taken many forms, from immersion of the entire body in water to anointing with a few drops, and from a rite performed for infants to a ritual suitable only for adults. From a comparative and historical perspective, there is no 'right' or 'better' form of baptism. The form preferred in a particular Christian community depends upon the traditions that community regards as authoritative.

The ritual of immersion in water for purposes of physical and moral cleansing has its roots in ancient Judaism. In Christian tradition adult baptism in particular is linked to the activities of John the Baptist and to Jesus' own baptism at the onset of his mission of self-disclosure as the Savior. Most early Christians were baptized as adults because they were adults when they converted to the new faith. As Christian tradition developed in the first centuries of the church, however, it became common to baptize infants, and adult baptism became rarer.

return to adult baptism is often associated with the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Groups such as the Anabaptists, Baptists, and others held that entry into the Christian church should be an act of conscious faith. Thus, they claimed, the rite could be performed only for adults who could freely make a choice. In the contemporary Christian community, all new converts must be baptized. The Catholic and Orthodox churches still favour infant baptism, while the diverse Protestant denominations continue to practice different customs.

Q: Does the word “worship” in the original Hebrew have many different connotations?

A: The Hebrew word behind worship is avodah. In the Bible it refers almost exclusively to the sacrificial worship of the God of Israel in the wilderness Tent of Meeting or, later, in theJerusalem Temple. In later Hebrew, avodah can be extended to other worshipful activities, such as prayer, study of the Torah, and devoted performance of divine commandments. The word avodah comes from a root that means 'to serve.' The word eved (slave or servant) comes from the same root. Thus, avodah is the service of God in an attitude of devoted submission. This sense of worship echoes in Christian and Islamic tradition as well. The Greek word leiturgos (which means “public service” or “public servant”) is the source of the term 'liturgy,' the technical term for worship in classical Christianity. And the common Islamic name Abd Ullah (or Abdullah) simply means 'servant of God,' the Arabic term 'abd' being identical to the Hebrew 'eved.'

Q: Where and what did Jesus do during his 'missing years'? I see him as a normal guy—pondering, praying and meditating. But, did he know what he was sent here for?

A: The four overlapping accounts of Jesus’ life that are included in the New Testament are silent about the years from Jesus' childhood through his baptism and the onset of his teaching mission. However, early Christian communities produced and preserved other collections of Jesus' teachings and accounts of his life that historians usually refer to as non-canonical gospels—that is, documents used for Christian preaching and worship that did not ultimately gain acceptance as part of the New Testament. These do fill in some of the obvious gaps about Jesus' life.
But, since these non-canonical works have not become accepted by Christians as a whole, their stories about the 'lost years' have not gained much acceptance. Also, historians have tended to dismiss these stories as legends. It is always possible that some of these non-canonical gospels preserve early Christian traditions about Jesus that were for some reason excluded in the official gospels of the New Testament, but there is little consensus about this among historians. A good place to look at some of these fascinating materials is in a book edited by Ron Cameron called The Other Gospels, published by Westminster Press in 1982.

Q: Does Judaism acknowledge any form of 'life' after death? If so, does it include 'rewards' and 'punishments?”

A: If by 'Judaism' one means the 'Old Testament' or 'Hebrew Scriptures,' then it is difficult to find a coherent understanding of 'life after death' in Judaism. However, for well over 2,000 years most forms of Judaism have held rich conceptions of the eternal life of the soul after its separation from the body, reward and punishment after death, and the reuniting of the soul and body in a resurrection at the time of messianic redemption and divine judgment. In virtually all cases, the beliefs are linked to creatively interpreted Biblical proof-texts.

In ancient post-exilic Judaism, these ideas are common in the Apocalyptic writings of Second Temple times (after 200 BC); in many of the Dead Sea Scrolls (ca. 140 BC-AD 66); in the writings of Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria (e.g., the first century philosopher, Philo); among the Pharisees (according to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus); and in the Rabbinic writings of the third to seventh century AD.

Indeed, medieval Jewish philosophy, as represented by such figures as Maimonides (12th century) and Nahmanides (13th century), and Jewish mysticism, as represented in the Zohar and other writings (13th-18th century), held firmly to the belief in the eternal life of the soul as well as rewards for righteousness and punishment after death for the unrepentant wicked.

In the past two centuries or so, many forms of Judaism that emerged among the modernizing Jews of Central and Western Europe have abandoned these beliefs, holding them to be unnecessary to Judaism and without firm Biblical foundation. Nevertheless, belief in an afterlife is deeply embedded in classical Jewish sources and continues to be a firm conviction in all forms of contemporary Orthodox Judaism.

In general, this statement from the third-century AD Mishnah is a reliable guide: 'All Israelhas a share in the World to Come—except those who deny that the resurrection of the dead is taught in the Torah.'

Q: Roman Catholics and most Protestants differ on the breakdown and numbering of the Ten Commandments. How do Jews distinguish the Ten Commandments?

A: The Ten Commandments appear in the Torah in two slightly different versions. The first setting is the actual revelation of the covenant at Sinai (Exodus 20:2-14). The second is in Moses' summary of that event (Deuteronomy 5:6-18). In neither place are they actually numbered. Throughout the history of Jewish and Christian interpretation, therefore, scholars have struggled to divide the divine statements into ten explicit propositions. In the Rabbinic tradition, which has defined Jewish biblical interpretation for 2,000 years, the ten statements are usually enumerated as follows (in the Exodus version). I paraphrase them for convenience.

Different English renderings may be consulted in any reputable biblical translation:

1. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the Land of Egypt ... You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:2-3)
2. You shall not make an image (Ex.20:4-6)
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain (Exodus 20:7)
4. Remember the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11)
5. Honour your father and your mother (Exodus 20:12)
6. Do not murder (Exodus 20:13)
7. Do not commit adultery (Exodus 20:13)
8. Do not steal (Exodus 20:13)
9. Do not swear falsely against your neighbour (Exodus 20:13)
10. Do not desire your neighbour’s house, wife, or servant (Exodus 20:14)

Q: Why do contemporary Jews reject Jesus as their Messiah? What is it about Jesus that does not meet their expectations of a Messiah? What type of Messiah are Jewish people looking for?

A: Christians often cite certain Old Testament prophecy, such as Isaiah 53, as evidence that Jesus was the Messiah that the Jews were awaiting. Christians believe that Jesus fulfilled other Jewish symbolism in Abraham's offering of Isaac, Moses’ serpent on a pole, the sacrificial system, the high priesthood and Passover.

The question is not really
“Why do Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah?” but “Why have the great majority of Jews always rejected the legitimacy of messianic claimants both prior to and since the career of Jesus of Nazareth?”

As Jewish thinking about the biblical prophetic texts has crystallized since the early Second Temple period (about 536 BC to AD 70) and in the generation since the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in AD 70, the standard expectations of the Messiah have come to include the following:
* He must exemplify extensive knowledge of rabbinic tradition.
* He must rule as king over a visible empire in the land of Israel.
* He must preside over the restoration of the Temple and its sacrifices.
* His era must witness the restoration of all exiles.
* And so forth...
The accomplishments of all historical messianic claimants, including Jesus, have failed to meet these expectations.
So, for most Jews in most times, there simply isn't much of interest to discuss. It would be inappropriate to engage in duelling proof-texts, since all messianic interpretations of Scripture—Christian or Jewish—depend on already believing what the interpretations set out to prove. It's a barren exercise and usually yields nothing but bruised feelings. Christians and Jews would do much better trying to simply live up to the high moral standards that each tradition embodies and strives for.

Q: Having just begun studying readings about the Kabbalah by Rav Berg, I am curious why this area was unavailable to mainstream Judaism for so many years. I find many answers to my questions concerning spirituality and the world. Can you explain the reason for withholding so much valuable and relevant information?
Also, can you direct me to further readings on the Kabbalah? Unfortunately, my Hebrew is limited so I would have to read commentary or translations.

A: For most of its history, Jewish mystical tradition, also known as Kabbalah ('tradition'), has been a form of knowledge reserved to a highly selective intellectual and spiritual elite. Its popularization among broader segments of Jewish society has been fairly recent, since the 15th and 16th centuries.
Contemporary Hasidism has, since the late 18th century, been the most common context in which kabbalistic ideas and spirituality have been made available at a popular level. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries kabbalistic learning was downplayed among central European, western European, and North American Jews who were interested in modernizing Judaism to conform with modern, scientific conceptions of the universe.
In more recent decades, especially in the context of the general reorientation of North American culture toward inner spirituality, Kabbalah has enjoyed a kind of resurgence among precisely the sorts of Jews who once rejected it—those very closely in touch with the general non-Jewish culture. It has, for many, become a 'route back' into Judaism.
Here are two helpful works appropriate for the general reader:
Ariel, David S. The Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism. Schocken, 1992.
Matt, Daniel C. The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism. HarperCollins, 1994.

Q: Is it true that in the earliest period of Judaism (before the Babylonian captivity), there was no notion of a 'messiah' because the Jewish people had no need for a mediator between God and mankind?

A: Actually, the notion of Messiah does in fact date to the pre-Exilic period, but Jewish notions of Messiah do not include the role of a 'mediator' between God and humanity.
The Hebrew word for messiah, mashiakh, refers in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) and many early prophetic writings to a person anointed with oil to serve as a representative of the community before God. This could be a priest, as in the book of Leviticus; a king, such as David; or even a prophet. During the Second Temple, or postexilic, period, the concept of Messiah was expanded to include a figure—either priestly or royal—who, at the end of time, would come to restore Israel to its land and establish a divine kingdom.
Jews during this time seem to have acknowledged more than a few candidates for this role, and Jesus was one such candidate. But the idea that he is a mediator between God and humanity, sent for the forgiveness of sin and the conquest of death, is a Christian one and is not a part of Jewish messianic ideas.

Q: What is the meaning of postmodernism in Christian theology?

A: Postmodernism is a recent intellectual movement that has affected many fields of humanistic learning, including philosophy, literary criticism, history, and theology. There is no single definition of postmodernism. In general, it is characterized by a suspicion or outright rejection of the claims of 'modern' thought (that is, the main Western intellectual tradition since the 18th century) to provide objective, unbiased truth about the world and human nature. For many postmodernists, objectivity is impossible, and any claims to the objectivity of scientific knowledge often mask deeply political motives for power.
Postmodern Christian thought tends to react against the modernist trends of Protestant and Catholic theology that sought to accommodate Christian belief to the 'objective' truths of the natural and human sciences. Thus modernist Christian thinkers sought to revise scriptural conceptions of the age of the world with scientific models of the origins of the Universe. Or they sought to revise understandings of scriptural events in light of modern literary, historical, and archaeological research. Postmodern Christian thinkers question the modern 'faith in objectivity' and point to the shifting versions of truth recommended by historical changes in science itself. Many are especially critical of the institutional structures inherited from Christian modernism, which in their view continue to harbor distinct vices of modernism in general, such as nationalism, racism, and sexism, all of which, at some moment or other, have been defended as scientific, objective points of view.
Although Christian postmodernists question many scientific perspectives on scriptural truth, they are not fundamentalists. From a postmodern perspective, fundamentalism is a modernist movement. That is, it accepts scientific models of objectivity and simply claims that the Bible is the truth about science.

Q: Why are there three different Sabbaths in the three monotheistic religions?

A: It is commonly said that the Jewish Sabbath falls on the seventh day of the week (Saturday), the Christian Sabbath on the first day of the week (Sunday), and the Muslim Sabbath on Friday. This is, however, a misconception.
The root of the question is the biblical institution of resting from all labor on the seventh day of the week in commemoration of the divine rest on the seventh day of creation. This Sabbath (from Hebrew shabbat, meaning “ceasing”) became in later Judaism a day devoted not only to very strict restrictions on creative work, but also to study of the Torah and extended feasting and public worship. Contemporary forms of Judaism still honor the seventh day, from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, as a special time.
From the first Christian century onward, as Christianity developed its consciousness as a biblically based religion distinct from Judaism, the question was asked: Are Christians bound by the commandment to observe the Jewish Sabbath? Most forms of Christianity have answered in the negative. Early on, the first day of the week became a preferred time for public Christian religious celebration. Since Christ was believed to have risen from death on a Sunday, this day became known as the Lord’s Day. It gradually attracted to itself much of the reverence that the Sabbath enjoyed in Judaism.
In Islam, there is strictly speaking no formal day of rest comparable to the Jewish Sabbath or the Christian Lord’s Day. It became common custom in the first Islamic century, however, for Friday to serve as a day of obligatory public prayer. To this day, in Islamic settings, the Friday noon prayer service in the mosque is a major weekly event.

Q: An increasing number of people use the word ‘spiritual’ in place of ‘religious.’ What, in your opinion, is the difference between the two terms?

A: In the history of Christian theology there was a time in which the terms spiritual andreligious were virtual synonyms. Both represented inner attitudes of faith that opposed 'worldliness.' Indeed, in medieval Roman Catholic tradition, the word religious did not apply to all Christians baptized into the Church. Rather, it was used specifically in reference to those who chose a 'spiritual' life of asceticism and prayer, usually in a monastery or a convent. These were the 'religious,' as opposed to other Christians who married, pursued their varied livelihoods and enjoyed other forms of 'secular' life.
The contemporary sense that 'religion' and 'spirituality' are somehow at odds is not new; it has a genealogy going back to the Protestant Reformation. Many Reformers attacked Catholicism's conception of 'religion' as opposed to 'worldliness,' and sought to turn worldly activity itself into a divine calling, a witness for 'spirituality.' Thus in Protestant countries, monasteries and convents were abandoned.
Present usages of the terms 'spirituality' and 'religion' reflect this tradition. 'Religion' is seen as a body of imposed rules and dogmas that often smothers the natural 'spirituality' of human nature. This 'spirituality' is conceived in a variety of ways that cannot be summarized easily. But it commonly appears as an inner sense of connectedness to the ultimate forces of reality that lead to psychic wholeness and other forms of inner strength. 'Religion,' in this view, tries to constrain 'spirituality' by packaging it in received formulas. Even contemporary Catholics and Jews often speak the language of 'spirituality,' finding that their 'religions' offer ample room for exploring the inner life of the divine.

Q: Do any religions not believe in ascending upward after death?

A: If we stay within my own area of familiarity, I would say that classical Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in both an upward ascent (of some souls to Heaven) and a downward descent (of some souls to Hell). In the Hebrew Bible ('Old Testament'), however, it is very difficult to find an explicit statement of an upward ascent to Heaven after the soul leaves the body. There are, however, ample references to those who 'descend to Sheol' after death. Sheol is conceived as a shadowy nether world whose inhabitants are somehow cut off from communication with the God of Israel.
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Rev. Prof. J. J. Kenez has neither subtracted nor added a single word, phrase, clause or sentence to these depositions just to emphasise the historical derailment of authentic Christianity that has eventually demonised the version of spiritual fellowship the whole world had been condemned to since Roman pagans took over from Saul of Tarsus. Now, if I may ask this question that has bugged me;


Religious symbols have been borrowed across cultures and religious boundaries for centuries that they rarely mean same things to a variety of fanatical followers or worshippers of the plethora of religions and denominations in our present world. How do we penetrate centuries of historical distortions of the originals to define the pristine truths from nature and established by our Creator so that we can arrive at the most objective version that is egalitarian, humane and applicable in all cultures, time and clime for world peace?
--Dr J. K. Danmbaezue, PG Student (1981) Asked after the Rev Jones/Guyana Mass Religious Suicide.

“Religion was/is a superstitious search by humanity for its origin, existence, meaning and relevance before the scientific era. The search was led by acclaimed sages among the elders of a community who defined its theories and practices. It is later ratified and recommended for legislation and implementation by state apparatus by convincing stratagem or coercion by politico-religious leaders.  Thereafter, it is fine tuned and administered by ordained priests and priestesses who hand it down along ancestral lineages from one generation of lukewarm adherents, fanatics and mystics to another. Gradually, strong personalities emerge claiming divine appointment and so pull strong followers who idolise them as role models with supernatural powers. This obsession confirms them as beacons of adulation and finally leads to full scale idolatry.” Or, put in another fashion, how can we be certain that the doctrines and dogmas we hold on to today were/are not merely fake theories from the past. In short, how do we sift truth from human beliefs, myths, legends and/or fables forged and fabricated by sages of old or demagogues whose objectives were merely manipulating the masses of their generation into reverencing and/or obeying them sheepishly? This is the task before all of us. It is the only way to arrive at ONE WORLD RELIGION. That is Integrational Spiritan Movement, led by the Holy Spirit of the Genuine Creator we all ought to worship! A.k.a KENEZIANISM.
 --Rev. Prof. J. J. Kenez, D.Sc. (2001) the Vessel of the Holy Spirit of the Creator of the Universe.

Religion, which is superstition sanctioned by the state, is actually an addiction to man-made doctrines and dogmas invented, patented and copyrighted by a few demagogues.
·         It enslaves the mind more than psychoactive drugs,
·         Benumbs human creativity and resourcefulness thereby
·         Restricting the development of the human potential and capital.
It is the main cause of poverty of the mind and underdevelopment of third world countries as its side-effects are indolence, redundancy, laziness and dependence on finished products and services. In the final analysis, it is the predisposing factor to lack of initiative, debilitating ignorance, fetish belief-systems, abject poverty and perennial ill-health.
Perhaps its only advantage is that it makes the polity docile and amenable to the whims and caprices of their oppressive leaders. Often, it hoodwinks its adherents into believing that ‘The God’ or ‘the gods’ they worship speak to them through the voices of their egocentric clerics who therefore can conveniently exploit them to satisfy their demonic desires of sensual pleasure and inordinate ambitions of amassing wealth. Their wanton indulgence in gluttony, wine and women is seen in every action and definitely this is the foolproof evidence of their demonic genealogy.
The fallacy of HUMAN CONCEPTS OF THE ULTIMATE CREATOR AND WHAT HE DEMANDS OF ALL OF US  is similar to the verdicts of the four blind men who went on an excursion to know what the elephant looked like. But in our case in religious buffoonery, it is not the personal verdicts of the first set of the blind men that we hold on to; that unfortunately is the tragedy of current day Religionists and the breeding ground for puerile bigotry, fanaticism, doctrines, dogmas, crusades and jihads. It is futile to not only believe the verdicts of the earliest FOUR BLIND MEN who were actually wrong but psychotically paranoid to swallow the bastardised versions handed down by degenerate grandsons of those cowardly and shameless blind men who never made the trip at all! So many blind religious leaders do not even set out to make the trip! Rather, they are satisfied by propagating what other blind men heard from the original four blind men that really touched the elephant. So it is that a thousand interpretations of what the wise explorers concluded is now bandied about what the original elephant looked and still looks like. The Elephant in his majesty refuses to say a word! Why, you may ask! It is unnecessary; for the glory, majesty and truths about the true worship of Our Almighty Creator abound in Nature and the Sane Human Beings observe them on a daily and hourly basis 365 days every year! Only the blind do not want to see the Natural and Eternal Laws he engraved into each macrocosm and microcosm He has made and given to all His Creations to share. We are equal heirs to His Infinite Love!
Every individual nature is part of the cosmos. To live virtuously means to live in accord with one's nature, to live according to the natural and eternal laws the designer of the universe intended by employing truth and right reason in all we do. Because passion and emotion are considered irrational movements of the soul, the wise individual seeks to eradicate the passions and consciously embrace the rational life. “True law is right reason in agreement with Nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. . . . There will not be different laws at different countries or communities, or different laws now and in the future, BUT ONE ETERNAL AND UNCHANGEABLE LAW WILL BE VALID FOR ALL NATIONS AND FOR ALL TIMES.” The laws governing all living things; birth, growth, respiration, movement, nutrition, excretion, reproduction and finally death hold sway in every place on planet earth under normal temperature and pressure. Humans have the same anatomy and physiology despite our differing languages, child-rearing practices, skin colour, racial differences and social statuses. We are the offspring of the Almighty Creator of the macrocosms and microcosms we share. Our survival in our variety of physical environment follows the same laws. No man is an island. We need each other!
Rev. Prof. J. J. Kenez also contends that natural laws are sacrosanct for they were made by the Almighty Architect and Engineer who created every being on planet; EARTH. They are divine and eternal; because they are universal and are no respecters of places and times of birth, parentage, race, educational level or religion! There are so many self-evident examples; the movement of the sun and moon regulate the hours of day, night, weeks, months and years; so also do gravity, temperature, pressure, emotion, motivation, conception, pregnancy, labour and birth regulate family life. If anyone disagrees, let him provide evidence to the contrary. The founders of HAPPY FAMILY NETWORK, INTEGRATIONAL SPIRITAN MOVEMENT AND FINALLY FAMILY LIFE COLLEGE, therefore, posit that human slavery, in whatever form it is used to deny any Homo sapiens and others their fundamental human rights, was/is and will forever remain illegal! Caste systems must be abrogated both in civil and religious circles all over the world to arrive at; 
·        SERVICE TO HUMANITY INTERNATIONALLY; is the lifestyle of all bona-fide members,
·        LOYALTY TO THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH; in every thought, word or deed is our international social ethics  &
If you want to be a foundation member of the board of directors for this all-inclusive humanitarian FAMILY LIFE COLLEGE send us a proposal of what you can contribute and attach a brief CV, your contact addresses and a current passport sized photo of yourself.

Revolutionary Professor Jideofo Jude Kenez, D. Sc.
E-mail:  Website:
International Animator of Integrational Spiritan Movement (ISM) Tel: 0803-9097614
Composed from 03:07: 55 on 11th March 1990 to Monday 30/08/2010 @ 02:08:28 HRS GMT.

Posted 14th May 2012 by Danmbaezue Jideofo Kenechukwu
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The subtitles for the second, the third & the sixth in case they are difficult to find are;
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KENEZIANISM or ISM is founded on the discovery of all the natural and eternal laws in creation and full obedience to all of them. In brief, Kenezians worship the Absolute Truth wherever it is found; on, below or above the earth! Tell, Live, Propagate and Die for the Truth! This principle and only this lifestyle guide the true sons and daughters of the Almighty Creator of the universe!

Dr. Jideofo Kenechukwu Danmbaezue a.k.a. Rev. Prof. J. J. Kenez, D.Sc.
The Humble Vessel of the Holy Spirit of the Almighty Creator of the Universe

1.      The causes of depersonalisation syndromes in human beings are obscure, and there is no specific treatment for it. When the symptom arises in the context of another psychiatric condition, clinicians opt for treatment that is aimed at that particular mental illness and gradually attempt to re-integrate the patient into one self-actualising individual over a long period of psychotherapy sessions.
2.      In our study, however, no post-independence indigene realised that s/he even had a depersonalisation problem. That is the irony of the scenario. Abnormality here disappears as more than 99 % of the population are immersed in it. In our research efforts on depersonalisation among formerly colonised peoples, we intend to bring to consciousness the subtle and bizzarre conditions it thrives on and then explain the hurdles that one who is immersed in two contrasting cultures must deal with.
3.      Just like the patient in my clinic who perceives his/her body or self as being odd, unreal, strange, altered in quality or quantity, the colonised citizens of a country that has recently won its independence have generalised identity crises. This state of self-estrangement may take the form of feeling as if one is a robot designed by dissimilar architects and constructed by two unfamiliar engineers who studied in different universities.
4.       The ex-colonialist is living in a dream world. Psychologically, s/he has been uprooted half-way from her/his sociocultural milieu and transplanted into unfamiliar territories. Having little or no time for the transition, s/he is not in control and may never be in real control of  the environment both physically and emotionally. Here is when, how and where the wisdom of our elders comes in. Most post-colonial literates are never masters of their intellectual faculties. In short, one is not in control of one's actions.
5.       De-realisation is another variant of the problems faced in this scenario. The feelings of unreality concerning objects outside oneself occurs at the same time as they occur in  mental life. Post-colonial depersonalisation may occur alone in neurotic persons but is more often associated with phobic, anxiety or depressive symptoms emanating from learned haphazard inculturation processes.
6.       This  variant commonly occurs in younger men and women and may persist for many years after political independence has been won. This group finds the experience of depersonalisation intensely difficult to describe and often fear that others will think them insane.  As with other neurotic syndromes, we see many different symptoms of regressive behaviour than depersonalisation alone.(Culled from my 1981 UNIBEN Ph.D. thesis proposal relating to the Psychopathology of Fanaticism)


1.       Since peoples of African descent all over the world face similar socioeconomic and psycho-political challenges, we need to form a consortium of eggheads who will strive to create better futures for our descendants. If the earlier international cooperation and shared strategies for bringing about social change are the legacies of the founders and protagonists of Pan-Africanism, what are the present generations of African intellectuals waiting for?

2.       The only vehicle that transmitted the culture of a people prior to colonial policies is today excised by the current craze of nursery and kindergarten education given to our children in urban cities. None of the urban urchins ever learns or will ever know the traditional folklores or idioms that our ancestors used to teach morals to the youths!

3.       Even among parents who were the beneficiaries of university education, no one makes the effort to nip in the bud the enslavement of his/her children to these  depersonalisation antics used by their erstwhile colonial masters that caused this estrangement to authentic African culture. Some children are even barred from speaking their mother tongue, so that they will be more fluent in the foreign one. Even in the rural areas, misguided youths brag about their acquisition of foreign accents and inability to pronounce native names! This is a disaster! It is a shame!

4.       The modern African literary writer thus only uses tradition as subject matter rather than as a means of affecting continuity with past cultural practices. The relationship between oral and written traditions and in particular between oral and modern written literatures is one of great complexity and not a matter of simple evolution. Modern African literatures were born in the educational systems imposed by colonialism, with models drawn from Europe rather than existing African traditions.

5.       These halfway measures must stop if we aspire at reclaiming what has been lost through many decades of colonial domination by the whites. We cannot afford the luxury of aping them in everything we do or depend on finished products and services from developed economies. To institutionalise therapeutic measures will be difficult until Africans realise the depth of mental enslavement all of us are in!

6.       One social area where we are still mentally enslaved that has refused us independence is RELIGION. Only Professor Chinua Achebe identified this factor early and bemoaned its affront on the culture of his people:   “That night the Mother of the Spirits walked the length and breadth of the clan, weeping for her murdered son. It was a terrible night. Not even the oldest man in Umuofia had ever heard such a strange and fearful sound, and it was never to be heard again. It seemed as if the very soul of the tribe wept for a great evil that was coming – its own death.”

7.       It was and still is a tragedy that despite our high-sounding academic degrees and literary prizes won at international circles, the majority of Africans who studied abroad as well those at home are still victims of depersonalisation and de-realisation syndromes! Like the earlier attempts at Pan-Africanism, the present crops of intellectuals from independent African nations, owe it a duty to their children and posterity to fashion indigenous curricula that can douse the raging flames of neo-colonialism sweeping across the nations of Africa.

8.       In my practice before I resigned from the NIGERIAN AIR FORCE HOSPITAL IN KANO, I had the displeasure of handling a neurotic with auditory hallucinations that the CIA was following him everywhere and every plane that flies over our hospital was their handiwork. This writer, a consultant clinical psychologist, is calling on all who have benefited from tertiary education to deploy what they acquired for the liberation of our kith and kin that do not realise that they are still mentally colonised! Here, I rest my case!  

Posted 14th May 2012 by Danmbaezue Jideofo Kenechukwu