Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Books on Ethiopian Orthodoxy

Alemayehu Desta- Intoduction to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Faith, 2012 AuthorHouse, IN

Abba Hailgegebriel Girma, PhD- An Interpretive Account of Belief and Practice in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, 2013 Create Space

Few western Christians know much about the Ethiopain Orthodox Tewahedo (united) Church, a branch of the Coptic church that developed its own independent traditions. These two books provide some useful introductory material on Ethiopian Orthodoxy. Both books are very short and are self-published. Regrettably, neither book goes into a great deal of depth.

An Introduction to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is basically a catechism of the beliefs of the Ethiopian Church with some historical outlines thrown in. The Council of Chalcedon is mentioned along with the resulting schism, but no explanation is given on where the Ethiopians stand on the Council's teaching.

An Interpretive Account, similarly treads the same ground as a catechism, focusing particularly on the sacraments. It lacks the historical emphasis of the other book, but does make some comments about the Ethiopian Church today.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is unique among Christian churches in its inclusion of Enoch in her Old Testament canon. One might expect that they would hold the angel-view of the Sons of God in Genesis 6,as Enoch appears to do. However, discussions on seem to indicate that they take an allegorical view of the narrative in Enoch.

The Ethiopians follow the custom of removing shoes in their churches. It's a custom I very much approve of; I have seen how filthy the carpets of western churches can get.

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