Author Topic: Monasticism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church : A Brief Introduction  (Read 132 times)

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Offline theorthodoxchurch

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The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church was closely associated with and considerably dependent on the Coptic Church for sacramental and spiritual leadership, since the return of St. Frumentious from Alexandria to Aksum in the 4th century as the first Metropolitan/Archbishop until the establishment of Patriarchate in 1959 AD. Due to the same reasons, the identity of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was often understood as an offshoot or a lesser form of Coptic Christianity. However, an unprejudiced glimpse into the nature and development of the Ethiopian ecclesiastical systems definitely rules out any possibility of labelling this indigenous form of Christianity as a lesser form dependent on the Coptic Orthodox Church.

As the most authentic African indigenous Christianity, Ethiopian Orthodoxy has more implicit forms of knowledge, embedded in spiritual practices, oral narratives, and the organization of everyday life. We notice three distinctive elements as formative factors of Ethiopian Christianity, namely, the non-Chalcedonian content of faith, liturgical texts, vestments and episcopal succession which they received from the Church of Alexandria; close interaction with early Syriac Christianity which influenced the pattern and modes of theological thought, and finally the indigenous cultural and religious background which expresses significant traits of Judaism.

Monasticism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church: A Brief Introduction by Fr. Dr Jossi Jacob