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Dominance And Diversity: Kingship, Ethnicity, And Christianity In Orthodox Ethiopia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter surveys the history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church with an emphasis on several features which are of significance for comparison to Syriac Orthodox Christianity. After considering the manner in which Christianity reached Ethiopia and in particular the central role played by the royal court in the acceptance and consolidation of the Church, attention is given to the claims of successive Ethiopian rulers and ethnic groups to be 'Israelites', that is, descendants of biblical figures most notably King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Next, the chapter considers the manner in which monastic movements, which emerged in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, were associated with ethnically based resistance to the expansion of the Christian kingdom. Other themes include the development of a tradition of biblical interpretation and Christological controversies.

Keywords: Christianity; Ethiopian orthodox church; ethnicity; kingship; orthodox Ethiopia



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