Kerenism is a polytheistic religion followed by the Utman people. It derives it name from the chief deity of the Kerenist pantheon, ‘Lord Keren’, who was the patron God of the Kinerite tribes centred in the ancient Kingdom of Kinere.
The religion is mainly practised in the Transmecuria region of the Lakhzov Republic on the Cotf Peninsula, with smaller communities dotted around the region and a tiny international diaspora. Overlapping claims between Kerenist and Emetist faiths have been a source of inter-communal tension for centuries.
Kerenism in its current form evolved shortly after the conquest of the Kingdom of Kiner by the Lakhzov Amphyctyonic League which brought the Kinerites into contact with Emetist teachings. During this period a process of syncretism occurred that saw the adoption of the Emetist Prophet Naqsim as an incarnation of the god Keren, who was in turn recast as the principle emanation of the supreme being Emet.
Having adopted the Takhmud as a revelation and recognising both Emet as supreme being and Naqsim as a Prophet the early Kerenists were viewed as being a stream of Emetist faith, however with the dissolution of the Amphyctyony and the subsequent rise of Medaberic authority tensions arose on key issues which culminated in the ‘Kerenist Schism’ of 980CE.
The period that followed would see occasional persecutions of the Kerenist community until it was adopted as the religion of the invading Utman nomads who first settled in the former Kerenite region before their eventual conquest of all of Lakhzovia.
Kerenism is an emanationist faith which believes that there is a single Supreme Being that is beyond human ability to comprehend which is called Emet or ‘Truth’ (ultimate reality). This being creates and interacts with the world through a series of emanations which are knowable and which can be petitioned, chief among which is Keren, the ‘three in one’ creator, preserver and destroyer. These roles of Keren are further personified as independent emanations of their own: Shen (Creator), Mida (Preserver), and Mavet (Destroyer).
Kerenism teaches that in order for the world to exist balance must be maintained between the three aspects of his being, and that the battle between these different aspects are played out in the material world in connection with occurrences in the spiritual realm.
Therefore when an imbalance forms on Mundus Keren will incarnate in order to provide guidance and bring about the rectification of the imbalance. Kerenists believe that there have been many such incarnations, with the Prophet Naqsim being the latest sent to offer correction to the world.
Relationship with Emetism
The radically different theological and cosmological groundings of Kerenism and Emetism has led to a long history of conflict between the two religious groups.
Kerenisms view the rise of Medaberic authority and their emphasis on the Oral Takhmud as a corruption of the purpose and message of Naqsim. In this view Emetism has acted to obscure the true meaning of the Takhmud and therefore is contributing to the ongoing universal imbalance on which they blame the current state of the world.
Emetists conversely view Kerenism as having perverted Naqsim’s teachings and defiled the Takhmud by introducing pre-Emetist pagan elements. As such they view Kerenists as heretics.
Given the centrality of the figure of Naqsim to both religions there is significant overlap in claims to Holy sites. The most contested site is the Grand Nakima in the city of Khalin, a complex which was built on the spot where Naqsim first began preaching the Takhmud.
As Kerenism and Emetism share a number of key festivals including the pilgrimage festival of Natan Emet, there are regular flare ups of inter-communal tensions at these times of year, especially in flash points like Khalin. This is further exacerbated by the fact that Kerenist festival rituals often involve animal sacrifices, a practice banned in Emetist religion law.
The Kerenist festival cycle tends to be close to that followed by the Emetists, with some minor changes of emphasis and practice. The religion also contains a number of festivals specific to the Kerenist faith, usually feasts, fasts or celebrations marking the exploits of various different members of the Kerenist pantheon.