Original Research

Africanism, Apocalypticism, Jihad and Jesuitism: Prelude to Ethiopianism

Rugare Rukuni, Erna Oliver
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 3 | a5384 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i3.5384 | © 2019 Rugare Rukuni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 January 2019 | Published: 28 August 2019

About the author(s)

Rugare Rukuni, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Erna Oliver, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Ethiopianism conceptually shaped modern Africa. Perceivably, this has been deduced from distinguished events in Ethiopian history. This investigation explored Ethiopianism as a derivate of the multifaceted narrative of Ethiopian religious political dynamics. Ethiopianism has arguably been detached from the entirety of the Ethiopian Christian political establishment, being deduced separately from definitive events such as the Battle of Adwa 1896. This research reconnected Ethiopianism to a wholistic religious–political matrix of Ethiopia. Therefore, it offers an alternative interpretation of Ethiopianism, as a derivate of Africanism and Apocalypticism, also correspondingly as a factor of Islamic Jihad and Jesuit Catholicism. The research was accomplished mainly through document analysis and compositely with cultural historiography. This study was a revisionist approach to Ethiopianism as a concept, deriving it from the chronological narrative of Ethiopian Christianity’s religious and political self-definition. Consequently, this realigned Ethiopianism as a derivate of multiple influences. Ethiopianism was possibly a convolution of the Donatist biblical appeal to the nativity, Judaic apocalypticism, Islamic attacks and Jesuit missionary diplomacy. Throughout the narrative of the Ethiopian Christian establishment, autonomy and independence are traceable; in addition, there is an entrenched enculturation of native Christianity and synergy with the political establishment. This formulates a basis for Ethiopianism as an ideology of African magnanimity. Parallel comparisons of Ethiopianism against Donatism and Zionism decode the nationalistic matrix of Ethiopia. Dually encultured native religious practice coupled with theocratic symbiosis of politics and religion fostered resistance from Islamisation and Jesuit Catholicisation. Further enquiry of Ethiopian Christianity as an index of the Ethiopian political establishment, from which Ethiopianism is derived, is qualified.

Keywords

Ethiopianism; Jihad; Africanism; Zionism; Apocalypticism; Jesuits; Religious political self-definition; Ethiopian Christianity; Islam; Judaism

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