“Jewish? African?” Being Both, as Told by a Spiritual Pioneer

May 14, 2012

On March 14, the spiritual leader of one of the most extraordinary minority groups to emerge in modern times – the Jews of the West African nation of Cameroon – spoke on campus.    Professor William Miles of the Political Science department organized the evening event, which was attended by many of the students from his Religion and Politics class.  The speaker was Serge Etele – a teacher, educator, and computer software technician.  Mr. Etele also spoke earlier in the day in Prof. Livanis’ class course on Globalization and International Affairs.

At both venues, Mr. Etele spoke about his people’s spiritual pathway from Christianity to Judaism, the globalization of religion, and religious tolerance in his home country.  One student commented: “That lecture gave me a renewed admiration for the boundaries that religion can dissolve as well as recognition of the innate desire humanity has to believe in a higher power.”

Another wrote “The presentation and performance were both inspiring and informative… I regarded our presenter as a brave man, one who did not fear the repercussions of non-conformity…”

Other students were struck by the speaker’s “deep regard for equality in America… Serge reminded us to appreciate the religious plurality and freedom that we enjoy here in the U.S….”  Yet another “liked his idea that you cannot really escape the globalized world, but you should be able to choose what to take from it.”

This Political Science event was entitled “‘Jewish?’ ‘African?’ Being Both, as Told by a Spiritual Pioneer.” It was co-sponsored by Northeastern Hillel, the John O’Bryant African-American Institute, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Jewish Studies Program.”

Serges Eteles speaking to audience in Amilcar Cabral Room

Prof. Miles (left) with Serge Etele


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