Info

state was an imperative, and the three rulers who effected that revival each saw the revival of a united church as an essential element in the revival of the state.

Political revival began in 1855 with the accession to the Solomonic throne of Kassa Haylu, who took the throne name of Tewodros II. He ruled until 1868. He fought his way to power, and in transforming himself from warrior to statesman he revived the authority of the bishops and tried to restore doctrinal unity to the church. The council of Amba (Cara, in 1854, established the bishop Abuna Salama as the arbiter of Alexandrian orthodoxy, and pronounced anathema on sectarianism. In 1855, Salama crowned Tewodros as King of Kings of Ethiopia. While bishop and king soon came into conflict -over issues of land and authority - the king maintained a formal propriety in their relations and never resorted to sectarianism to undermine the bishop's authority.17 Tewodros's eventual successor was Yohannes IV (1872-89), who by proclaiming himself 'King of Zion' laid claim to the legacy of Aksum, as shown by his choice of the church of St Mary of Zion in Aksum as his coronation church. Like Tewodros, he sought ecclesiastical revival and unification. To this end he pursued a policy of suppressing the Qebat and Saga sectarians. At the council of Boru Meda in 1878, where he basked in the submission of Menilek, the last of the major provincial rulers to hold out, he proclaimed the faith of the church to be the Karra doctrine of Qerelos, Salama and Atnatewos, and vigorously enforced it. As for episcopal authority, in 1881 Yohannes persuaded the Coptic patriarch to appoint an unprecedented four bishops.

Yohannes set the agenda which, under his successor Menilek II (1889-1913), carried the Ethiopian Orthodox Church into the twentieth century. Sectarianism was marginalised and the doctrinal position forwarded at the council of Boru Meda has remained normative to the present. Expansion of the episcopacy pointed, obliquely to be sure, towards a new national organisation for the church. Menilek lacked the zeal of Tewodros or Yohannes, but his adoption of their policies set a final seal upon them.

Church and state entered the twentieth century in a condition far different from that of a century before. The monarchical state was restored; doctrinal

1830-1868 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972); and S. Rubenson, The survival of Ethiopian independence (London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1976).

17 D. Crummey, 'Doctrine and authority: Abuna Salama, 1841-1854,' in IV Congresso Inter-nazionale di Studi Etiopici (Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 1972), 1,567-78; Crummey, 'Orthodoxy and imperial reconstruction in Ethiopia, 1854-1878', JThSt 29 (1978), 427-42; andD. Crummey and GetatchewHaile, 'Abuna Salama: Metropolitan ofEthiopia, 1841-1867. A new Ge'ez biography', Journal of Ethiopian Studies 37 (2004), 191-209.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment