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The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia
Resistance and Resilience
In this sweeping history, Tibebe Eshete presents a new view of Ethiopian Christianity. Synthesizing existing scholarship with original interviews and archival research, he demonstrates that the vernacular nature of the Ethiopian church played a critical role in the development of a state church. He also traces the effects of the political on the religious: the growth of other “counter-cultural” movements in 1960s Ethiopia, such as renewal movements, youth discontentment, and the Marxist regime (under which the church still flourished). This strikingly authentic work refutes the thesis that evangelicalism was imported. Instead, Eshete shows, it was a genuine indigenous response to cultural pressures.
Part I: The Ethiopian Orthodox Church
1: From the Early Church to Early Modernity
2: The Challenge of Modernity and the Need for Reform
Part II: The Evangelical Church in Ethiopia
3: The First Three Centuries of Reformed Missions
4: The War Years and the Restoration (1936-1959)
5: Post-War Mission Impulses
6: Keys to Post-War Growth
Part III: The Pentecostal Church
7: The 1960s Rise of Pentecostalism
8: Independence and Persecution
Part IV: The Ethiopian Revolution (1974-1990)
9: The Political Seeds of Revolution
10: Early Church-State Relations under Communist Rule
11: Ecumenism and Flexibility
12: Underground “Free” Space and Lay Leadership
13: The Commitment Factor and the Role of Resistance in Church Growth
14: Evangelical Christianity and the Legacy of the Revolution
A pathbreaking analysis of the meaning and impact of the growth of evangelical Christianity in Ethiopia.
-James C. McCann, Professor of History, Boston University
This story is a triumph of historical scholarship.
-Joel A. Carpenter, Provost of Calvin College
This thoroughly researched book provides invaluable information regarding Ethiopian evangelical movements.
-Amy DeRogatis, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Michigan State University
“A very welcome contribution to the understudied subject of the history of Protestant religion in Ethiopia”
—Liza Debevec, Journal of Religion in Africa
Tibebe Eshete is Assistant Professor of History and Religious Studies at Michigan State University. He is the author of Jijiga: The History of a Strategic Town in the Horn of Africa and My Journey: The Deranged Life and Divine Grace.
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