AC Evening about and with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

February 21, 2019

The Tewahedo Church kindly invites the Academicum Catholicum to an Ethiopian evening on Tuesday the 26’th of March 2019 at 7 o’clock p. m.

Programme: Father Zemichael, the spiritual head of the Ethiopian Orthodox congregation in Copenhagen, with members of the congregation, will give us an overview of theology, spirituality, liturgy, art tradition etc. of what can be considered as one of the oldest Christian churches of the world. Conference language: English.

As our hosts will offer a light meal with specialities of the Ethiopian cuisine you are kindly requested to register your participation at latest on the 24’th of March, using the mail address:

Participation fee: DKK 50,-.  

Time: Tuesday the 26’th of March 2019 7:00 p. m. (19:00).

Place:Niels Steensen’s Kollegium, the chimney room. Entrance through Saint Augustine’s Church, 183D Jagtvej, 2100 København Ø.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Christian churches with a total membership of more than 50 million people, the majority living in the Ethiopian heartland, but the church counts also many believers in the neighbouring countries, such as Eritrea and Sudan and in Europe, the Americas and Australia as well. The church is in communion with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. In 1948  it was granted  an autocephalous status and got its own patriarch in Addis Ababa in 1959.

                      Tewahedo means in the Ethiopian Church language “being made one”, which refers to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one perfectly unified nature of Christ; i. e., a complete union of the divine and human natures in one nature is self-evident in order to accomplish the divine salvation of mankind, as opposed to the two natures of Christ belief commonly held by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and most Protestant churches.

                      The Oriental Orthodox churches adhere to a Miaphysitic Christological view followed by Cyril of Alexandria, the leading protagonist of the 4’th and 5’th centuries who advocated “mia physis tou theou logou sesarkómené [one (mia) natura of the Word of God incarnate.]” This has of course consequences for the liturgy and spiritual life of the faithful.

                      The first encounters of Ethiopians with Christianity can be traced back to the Acts of the Apostles, see chapter 8:26-39 describing the encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian treasurer – and how Philip helped the treasurer understand a passage from the Book of Isaiah that the Ethiopian was reading. Philip interpreted the passage as prophecy referring to Jesus Christ and the Ethiopian requested that Philip baptize him – and so Philip did…

                      From other sources we are knowing that the Christian faith took root in Ethiopia during the following centuries.

                      The history of the Tewahedo Church has, during the centuries been marked by exterior and interior enemies.

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