Psychologists often refer to the period of life known as adolescence as
one of the most difficult stages of development that an individual will endure.
It has been stated that adolescence is the time when an individual forms
his/her own sense of identity. A sense of identity is defined as “an organized
sense of how our own personality traits, values, and beliefs fit together in
defining who we are.” Therefor, the development of a sense of identity is, in
fact, the basis for a stable adult personality.
Certain responsibilities accompany this development of an identity, such
as the commitments "to oneself, to one\'s family, to significant others, and to
the various subgroups in society of which one is a member." One\'s sense of
identity is chronically jeopardized by the difficulty in holding to these
commitments; one important attribute in the retention of these commitments
involves a belief and faith in a given religion. This religion yields a basis
for all decisions that must be made in adolescent life; it forms the moral and
ethical skeleton of an individual, and affects all choices that are made and all
actions that are taken. The students here at Texas Christian University are
faced with difficult choices each and every day, and are in dire need of a
source of higher direction. It is my opinion that a belief in the religion
known as “Kadelphianism” serves as a firm basis for self commitment, peer
commitment, and social commitment, and provides an excellent example of the
correct way to lead one\'s life.
The religion known as Kadelphianism differs from many conventional
religions due to the fact that it does not actually affect a student until
he/she makes the decision to attend Texas Christian University. Upon making
this decision, each student will immediately begin his transition into the
Kadelphian way. The mythology behind Kadelphianism is quite simple; it is this
simplicity and basic severity of its ideals that makes the religion so
successful. From it\'s earliest origination in the nineteenth century,
Kadelphianism has exemplified human kindness, friendship, and peer unity. The
earliest Kadelphians formed the religion as a means of uniting the students at
T.C.U. The founding fathers, Robert Tucker Fitzgerald and Edward Pierce Turner,
began the organization based on the belief that Kadelphianism is more than a
ritual or a symbol; they believed it was a way of life. The basic principle
formed by the founders was that of friendship and unity of the students; through
this friendship and unity, an individual is able to develop his/her own sense of
identity and responsibility. The founders believed in unselfish service to
mankind, and they felt that personal leadership requires confidence tempered
with humility and tolerance.
The rituals of Kadelphianism are also quite simple and pure in nature.
With Frog Fountain serving as a center for all activity, the Kadelphian students
meet on a bi-weekly basis; during these meetings there is an opening prayer
session, a candle lighting ceremony, and an open discussion or forum involving
all of the students present. The members discuss private and public issues
which they attempt to resolve through peer support and interaction. After the
forum is complete, the candles are blown out simultaneously, and a closing
prayer is recited. During the ritual ceremony, all Kadelphians wear a small pin
bearing the symbol of Kadelphianism: a diamond shaped badge with the inscribed
letters TCU and a pair of hands clasped in friendship.
The hierarchy of the Kadelphians is based on the leadership and
dedication set forth by its members. The Grand Kadelphian, or leader of the
students, is chosen by majority opinion; the other leading Kadelphians are
chosen by the Grand Kadelphian based on merit, scholarship, and service to
fellow students. It is considered an honor to be chosen by one\'s peers for any
of the above-mentioned leadership roles, however, every Kadelphian is believed
to be equal and comparable in the religion. The main text, or manual of the
Kadelphians is a small book bearing the diamond shaped symbol of Kadlephianism,
and is known as the Sorgan. It contains the basic beliefs and teachings of
Kadelphianism, and provides the students with the true way to lead their daily
life; the Sorgan also highlights the way all students can support each other and
forms a basis for the development of friendship and unity so important to the
Kadelphian way.
The most representational figures known to the Kadelphians do not come
in the form of gods and goddesses so common to other religions. They are,
instead, mere human beings who, upon the founding of Kadelphianism, exemplified
the beliefs and values set forth by the founding fathers. The