A question has been raised on discussion fora; “Is it time to …adopt ‘MANDELANISM’ as the new African religion?” “Love, freedom, forgiveness, humility, selflessness, compassion” have been raised as main tenets of Mandelanism. Others have added stoicism; that he showed an “admirable patience and endurance in the face of adversity without complaining”.
Whereas the foregoing may ruffle the feathers of religious ministers, for attentive Judaics, Marabouts, Theologians, philosophers and politicians, there is no gainsaying that Mandelanism encompasses the main tenets of Jewish and Islamic monotheism, Christian love, Platonic and Aristotelian philosophies, stoicism as well as Western politics.
Factually, mainstream religions are imbibitions of traditional, cultural, spiritual practices as well as deeds of great people or prophets administered by disciples who have taught us to admire thinkers, warlords, conquerors, kings as well as spiritualists in recounts in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran etc.
Indeed, the paradigm shift from polytheistic, pantheistic or even pagan practices if I may, to several religious doctrines, took off many years or centuries following the death of such agents of change philosophy.
For ancient Egyptians, Timbuktu scholars, Greeks and Romans in the likes of Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, later the Socrates, Platos, Aristotles and Ciceros, rational thinking marked their greatness. As for the Timbuktu scholars, theorists have placed early Greek thinkers amongst them in Mali, where we have been told that the Greeks contrived knowledge in rational thinking, which became the ‘hallmark of Greek and Roman philosophies’ and later politics. Recently, scientists have discovered thousands of years old, tons of pages of scientific and religious manuscripts in the deserts of Timbuktu, which suggests that theirs was based on rationale, thinking, politics and spirituality. For that of ancient Egyptians, it is all in the Bible, the Quran and the Pentateuch.
It maybe too soon or somewhat controversial for us to refer to Mandela as a prophet or Mandelanism as an African religion, but not too soon to start a debate on Mandelanism as a political theory couched in Greco-Christian-African traditionalism as in Greco-Judeo, Greco-Christian Western civilizations, where the St. Augustines and the Martin Luthers meet Greek thinkers and Western politicians.
One debater sees “the passing of the great man [Mandela] as the perfect opportunity to create an African philosophical/spiritual belief system based on his humanist principles.” It seems rational thinking, religion and politics have formed a triumvirate of ideals again in the birth of Mandelanism in which there seems to be room for all its ministers and pundits: For those who see rational thinking in Mandelanism, for those who see a way of life in it, for as well as those who see political philosophy in it.
The foregoing is consistent with the existing Greco-Judeo-Christian Western civilization (rational thinking, religion and politics) ideals in which constitutional democracy is couched.
In his tribute to Mandela, President Obama likened him to Abraham Lincoln when he stated; “Emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would – like Lincoln – hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. Like America's founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations – a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power.”
We know that Abraham Lincoln was a great political thinker. Unlike Marx and Engels’ “Revolutionary Communism”, we can advance President Obama’s indoctrination of Mandela in the pantheon of political thinkers from Thales to present day with Mandela’s ‘Revolutionary Democracy’, which has been borne to Mandelanism, couched in Greco-Judeo-Christian African traditionalism as in Greco-Judeo-Christian Western civilization. Like in the words of Mandela, “'For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others,” let’s be free to think freely.