Reinder Schoonhoven

After the normal primary and secondary (Gymnasium-β) school Reinder followed his academic education at the Medical Faculty of Utrecht University  from 1965-1971, followed by a course in Tropical Medicine. Before he started his work as a missionary doctor in Nigeria under the umbrella of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, he acquired his surgical and other medical capabilities during a practical training in a Dutch hospital (Refaja, Dordrecht). From 1973 he practiced as a medical doctor for 7 years in the Bethesda Clinic in Igede, Benue State. When he returned in 1980 he decided to switch to a specialism in which non-physical aspects of human wellbeing are important, i.e. psychiatry. This training was followed in different hospitals and departments (Ermelo, Amersfoort, Utrecht). His main professional life (1985-2008) was as head of a psychiatric private practice with a special interest for people with a religious background and having psychiatric and spiritual problems. He continued his academic education with the study of Theology (1985 -2001, University Utrecht, Amsterdam, Kampen) with an emphasis on Practical Theology. After his retirement his field of interest expanded to Law and Philosophy (University Utrecht).

When, after 40 years, he paid a revisit to the area in Nigeria in 2019/2020 he was impressed by the many changes in the area in different aspects and he decided to make a special study of the spirit world in the area with a focus on the veneration of ancestors.