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New Perspectives on Ethiopian and African Christianity: Communalities and Contrasts in Twentieth Century Religious Experience

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Recent political developments and factors within Ethiopian studies have led to more emphasis on the African rather than Semitic elements in Ethiopian Culture. In the religious sphere likewise there are striking communalities in the 20th century experience of Ethiopian and wider African Christendom. Some of these can be ascribed to sharing similar sociological conditions i.e. religious resurgence as a response to the marginalisation and poverty associated with globalisation. However, resemblance between Ethiopian traditions and recently developed African Christian 'traditions' indicate more profound communalities in religious perception. The paradigm of the 'knowledge buffet' and the relationship between food and religion is developed into a scheme of three stages or courses in the evolution of African and Ethiopian Christendom. These are characterised by institutionalisation, indigenisation, and internationalisation. This exemplifies the interaction between global and local factors, as individuals seek empowerment and the transformation of a negative life world through the development of religious discourse.


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