Original Research - Special Collection: Marianne Dircksen Festschrift

The obsession with greatness leads to power abuse: Is spiritual intelligence an appropriate response?

Elizabeth M. Cornelius
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 53, No 2 | a2463 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v53i2.2463 | © 2019 Elizabeth M. Cornelius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 February 2019 | Published: 14 October 2019

About the author(s)

Elizabeth M. Cornelius, Faculty of Theology: New Testament, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Share this article

Bookmark and Share


Power abuse is the reason for corruption, violence, murder, rape and many other crimes. This article focuses on the reasons for power abuse – the reasons why people morph into beasts. Some say it is a result of an aspiration for superiority. Others say it is an act of a typical personality type, namely the ruling type. I ask the following question in this regard: Is it an obsession with greatness? What is present or absent in a person’s life that makes them obsessed with greatness? Herod the Great is studied as an example of a power abuser in order to determine what brought out the beast in him. The research is done with the help of various disciplines, including history, sociology and psychology in order to answer different questions. It is concluded that an obsession with greatness can be a result of the absence of spiritual intelligence – an absence of religion.


Power abuse; Aspiration for superiority; Obsession with greatness; Herod the Great; Spiritual intelligence.


Total abstract views: 1364
Total article views: 1836

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.