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Death and Science Fiction with Brother Ben Janzen

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Death and Science Fiction with Brother Ben Janzen

Jane met Brother Ben Janzen through serving on the Beautiful Dying Expo advisory board  After reading Ben’s bio, Jane new she had to find out how Star Trek had a hand in bringing Ben from his native Germany to the United States. It’s a show packed full of theology, philosophy with a focus on immortality and science fiction, this week on The Next Room!

[Click here to Listen]

Ben_Janzen_838700929.jpgBen Janzen grew up in Germany as the youngest of three. Upon finishing High School, he joined the Franciscan Capuchin Order of the Roman Catholic Church where he enjoyed his education as a Catholic Theologian within the Franciscan tradition. When he received his doctorate in Theology, he became a lecturer at the Franciscan College for Philosophy and Theology in Muenster, Germany. 

His love for Star Trek and anything SciFi brought him to the USA. He studied comparative literature at UC Riverside working on the role of Spirituality and Religion in Star Trek and graduated with a Ph.D. in 2006. A year earlier, he had met his now husband Sal and consequently left the Order. Ben has been working with VITAS Healthcare, San Diego, as a Chaplain since 2010. Here, he trained and worked as a resident and a team chaplain for five years. In 2015, he took the position of Bereavement Services Manager. In 2018, Ben was certified as an Advanced Practice Board Certified Chaplain (APBCC) with the Spiritual Care Association, and as a Grief Recovery Method Specialist (GRMS) with the Grief Recovery Institute. Ben is a member of the board of the San Diego County Coalition for the Improvement of End of Life Care and the board and planning committee for the Beautiful Dying Expo.

Ben and Sal have a dog, Sammy, and they enjoy traveling, cooking, baking and anything having to do with food.



About Jane Asher:

Jane Asher has always been a natural connector who has enjoyed a successful career in media and the music industry, most notably at major radio stations in San Diego and Santa Barbara. Several years ago, she stepped away from terrestrial radio when Empower Radio reached out and asked her to create a show about her passion. The Next Room podcast was born.

Demystifying death daily, she interviews professionals and practitioners from diverse backgrounds about death, dying, grief, beliefs and cultural traditions surrounding the journey we all must ultimately make. The show airs across 11 platforms and has connected her with extraordinary people throughout this community. The Next Room has recently become the official podcast of the Beautiful Dying Expo.

Jane is also passionate about being involved in mission work. She has been part of a team for over five years that has built homes in Tijuana for families in need through Lutheran Border Concerns. She has traveled to El Salvador to feed the homeless, Malaysia to help build a school on Borneo, and Armenia to work with women and children in the small village of Amre Taza. Most recently, she was on a humanitarian mission in the Dominican Republic. 

Her book, The Next Room is a story transcending space and time, of a relationship between mother and daughter that grew stronger through death. Written together, by initially enlisting interpretation through a psychic medium, The Next Room takes us on a daughter's journey through learning eternal life lessons on forgiveness, grief, grace, gratitude, and the limitless love of all, God.

Jane lives in San Diego with her husband, Tom. She is now answering her passion-filled purpose and writing daily alongside her puppy and muse, Mamba.