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Byzantium and Ethiopian monasticism
Byzantium and Ethiopian monasticism

Author(s): Václav Ježek
Subject(s): History
Published by: AV ČR - Akademie věd České republiky - Slovanský ústav and Euroslavica

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses the relationship between Byzantium and the development of Ethiopian monasticism. It explores the cultural and religious involvement of Byzantium in Ethiopia. It is shown that the issues involved are complex and deserve further scholarly attention especially due to the fact that Ethiopia offers an immensely interesting context due to its unique relationship with the Semitic millieu. The influence of Byzantium on Ethiopia went hand in hand with other influences coming from the Syriac, Judaic and Sabaean context. It is concluded, that Byzantium did not exercise a very strong influence on the development of Ethiopian monasticism on its own. Rather a combination of Syriac, Judaic and Byzantine elements contributed to the development of monasticism there. These are coupled with possible indigenous African elements. Further, that many issues related to the Ethiopian context of monasticism are yet to be resolved and that the Ethiopian context can help us understand why monasticism in Byzantium developed in ways that it did and not in others. Lastly, that the Ethiopian monastic context offers one of the most original and unique forms of Christian spiritual endeavour, which is even more enhanced by the presence of original exegetical traditions. That Ethiopia offered original symbolic theological imagination even after Byzantium zenith.

  • Issue Year: LXX/2012
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 97-112
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English