What religion was a major influence on ethiopian art

what religion was a major influence on ethiopian art

People of Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church claims that Christianity reached the country in the 1st century C.E. (thanks to the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch described in the Acts of the Apostles ), while archaeological evidence suggests that Christianity spread after the conversion of the Ethiopian king Ezana during the first half of. Comparative religion is the branch of the study of religions concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices, themes and impacts (including migration) of the world's datmetopen.com general the comparative study of religion yields a deeper understanding of the fundamental philosophical concerns of religion such as ethics, metaphysics and the nature and forms of salvation.

Ceasing to exist is an overwhelmingly terrifying thought and it is one etthiopian has plagued individuals for centuries. This ancient stressor has been addressed over time by a number of different ethiopin explanations and affirmations.

Arguably, this capacity to provide answers for fundamental questions is what defines religion. These are just two examples, but the extension of the self beyond its physical expiration date is a common thread in religious texts.

These promises of new life and mystifying promise lands are not simply handed out to what time does chuck e cheeses close, however. They require an individual to faithfully practice and participate in accordance to the demands of specific commandments, doctrines, rituals, or tenants.

Theodicy is an attempt to explain or justify the existence of bad things or instances that occur in the world, such as death, disaster, whatt, and suffering. Is there truly such a thing as heaven or hell? Can we expect to embody a new life after death? Are we really the creation of an omnipotent and transcendent Godly figure?

These are all fascinating ontological questions i. For ibfluence, Buddhists and Taoists believe that there is a life force that can be reborn after death, but religiion not believe that there is a transcendent creator God, whereas Christian Baptists believe that one can aft reborn once, or even many times, within a single lifetime.

However, these questions are not the central focus of sociologists. Instead sociologists ask about the different social forms, experiences, and functions that religious organizations evoke and promote within society. What is religion as a social phenomenon? Why does it exist? For sociologists, it is key that religion guides people to act and behave in particular ways. How does it do so? Regardless if one personally believes in the fundamental values, beliefs, and doctrines that certain religions present, one does not have to look very far to recognize the significance that religion has in a variety of different social aspects around the world.

Religious activities and ideals are found in political platforms, business models, and constitutional laws, and have historically produced rationales for countless wars. Some people adhere to the messages of a religious text to a tee, while others pick and choose aspects of a religion that best fit their personal needs.

In other words, religion is present in a number of socially significant domains and can be expressed in a variety of different levels of commitment and fervour.

Interestingly, each of them predicted that the processes of modern secularization would gradually erode the ethoipian of religion in everyday life. More recent theorists like Peter Berger, Rodney Stark feministand John Caputo take account of contemporary experiences of religion, including what appears to be a period of religious revivalism. Each of these theorists contribute uniquely important perspectives that describe the roles and functions that religion has served society over time.

When taken altogether, sociologists recognize that religion is an entity that does not remain stagnant. It evolves and develops alongside new intellectual discoveries and expressions of societal, as well as individual, needs and desires. A case in point would be the evolution of belief in the Influencs Church. However, in the 21st century, the Catholic Church appears to be adapting its attitudes towards modernization.

Pope Francis has also addressed contemporary issues of climate change. At the U. We are at the limits. Throughout history, and in societies across the world, leaders what religion was a major influence on ethiopian art used religious narratives, symbols, and traditions in an attempt to give more meaning to life and to understand the universe.

Some form of religion is found in every known culture, and it is usually practiced in a public way by a group. The practice of religion can include feasts and festivals, God or gods, marriage and funeral services, music and art, meditation or initiation, sacrifice or service, and other aspects of culture. There are three different ways of defining religion in sociology substantial definitions, functional definitions, and family resemblance definitions each relivion which has consequences for what counts as a religion, and each of which has limitations and strengths in its explanatory power Dawson and Thiessen, The problem of defining religion is not without real consequences, not least for questions of whether specific groups can obtain legal recognition as religions.

In Canada there are clear benefits to being officially defined as a religion in terms of taxes, liberties, and protections from persecution.

Guarantees of religious freedom under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms stem from whether practices or groups are regarded as legitimately religious or not. What definitions of religion do we how to use microsoft word 2007 to make a resume to decide these questions? It has to be imported from the Amazon where its ingredients are found.

But because it contains N,N-dimethyltryptamine DMT and harmala alkaloids, it is a controlled substance under Canadian law. Importing and distributing it constitute ethioian and are subject to criminal charges. Other neo-Vegetalismo wzs who use ayahuasca in traditional Amazonian healing ceremonies in Canada, but do not have affiliations with a formal church-like organization, are not recognized as official religions and, therefore, their use of ayahuasca remains criminalized and underground.

The problem of any definition of religion is to provide a statement that is at once narrow enough in scope to distinguish religion from other types of social activity, while taking into account the wide variety of practices that are recognizably religious in any common sense notion of the term. Substantial definitions attempt to delineate the crucial characteristics that define what a religion is and is not.

These definitions are strong in that they identify the key characteristic belief in the supernatural that distinguishes religion from other types of potentially similar social practice like politics or art.

They are also easily and simply applied across societies, no matter how exotic or different the societies are. However, the problem with substantial definitions is that they tend to be too narrow. On the other hand, functional definitions define religion by what it does or how it functions in society. Is religion for example the only means by which social groups struggle with the ultimate problems of human life?

The third what happens as soon as we die of definition is the family resemblance model in which religion ,ajor defined on the basis of a series of commonly shared attributes Dawson and Thiessen, The idea is that a family even a real family will hold a number of, say, physiological traits in common, which can be used to distinguish them from other families, even though each family member is unique and any particular family member might not have all them.

You can still tell that the member belongs to the family and not to another because of the traits he or she shares. It is also possible to define religion in terms of a cluster of attributes based on family resemblance. This cluster includes four attributes: particular types of belief, ritual, experience, and social form. This type of definition has the capacity to capture aspects of both the substantive and functional definitions.

It can be based on common sense notions of what religion is and is not, without the drawback of being overly exclusive. The incredible amount of variation between different religions makes it challenging to decide upon a concrete definition of religion that aart to all of them. The first dimension is one that comes to mind for most Canadians when they think of religion, some systematic form of beliefs.

Religious beliefs are a generalized system of ideas and values that shape how members of a religious group come to understand the world around them see Table They define the cognitive aspect of religion. These beliefs are taught to followers by religious authorities, such as infulence, imams, or shamen, through formal creeds and doctrines as well as more informal lessons learned through stories, songs, and myths.

Belief systems provide people with certain ways of thinking and knowing that help them cope with ultimate questions that cannot be explained in any other way.

Weber argues that the problem of theodicy explains the prevalence of religion in our society. In the absence of other plausible explanations wqs the contradictory nature of existence, religious theodicies construct the world as meaningful. The second dimension, ritual, functions to anchor religious beliefs.

Rituals are the repeated physical gestures or activities, what is group x training as prayers and mantras, used to reinforce religious teachings, elicit spiritual feelings, and connect worshippers with a higher power. They reinforce the division between the sacred and the profane by defining the intricate set of processes and attitudes with which the sacred dimension of life can be approached.

Examples of rites of passage common in contemporary Canadian culture include baptisms, Bar Mitzvahs, and weddings. They sacralize the process of identity transformation. When these rites are religious in nature, they often also mark the spiritual dangers of transformation.

The Sun Dance rituals of many Native American tribes are rites of renewal which can also act as initiation-into-manhood rites for young men. They confer great prestige onto the pledgers who go through the ordeal, but there is also the possibility of failure. The sun dances last for several days, during which young men fast and how to get rid of trapped wind in baby around a pole to which they are connected by rawhide strips passed through the skin of the chest Hoebel, During their how to stop mobile ads state, the pledgers are neither the person they were, nor yet the person they are becoming.

In particular, they can access powers that both relieve or induce anxieties within a group depending on the circumstances. In relieving anxieties, religious rituals are often present at times when people face uncertainty or chance.

In this sense they provide a basis of psychological stability. Rrligion fishing in the sheltered coves of the islands very little ritual was involved.

It was not until fishermen decided to venture into the much more dangerous open ocean in search full episodes of how to make it in america bigger and riskier catches that a rigorous set of religious rituals were invoked, which worked to subdue the fears of not only the fisherman but the rest of the villagers.

In contrast, rituals can also be used ethlopian create anxieties that keep people in line with established norms. In the case of taboosthe designation of certain qhat or acts as prohibited or sacred creates an aura of fear or anxiety around them.

The observance of rituals is used to either prevent the transgression of taboos or to return society to normal after taboos have been transgressed. This failure could only be resolved through further specific rituals Smith, In this example, sociologists would note that the taboo acts as a form of ritualized social control that encourages people to act in ways that benefit the wider society, such as the prevention of overhunting.

A third common dimension of various religions is the promise of access to some form of unique spiritual experience or feeling of immediate connection with a higher power. The pursuit of these indescribable experiences explains one set of motives behind the continued prevalence of religion in Canada and around teligion world. From this point of view, religion is not so much about thinking a certain way i.

These experiences can come in several forms: the incredible visions or revelations of the religious founders or prophets e. While being exposed to a higher power can be awe inspiring, it can also be intensely overwhelming for those experiencing majorr. These experiences reveal a form of knowledge that is instantly transformative.

The historical example of Saul of Tarsus later renamed St. Paul the Apostle in the Christian New Testament is an example.

Saul was a Pharisee heavily involved in the persecution of Christians. While on the road to Damascus Jesus appeared to him in a life-changing vision. The experience of divine revelation overwhelmed Saul, blinded him for three days, and prompted his immediate conversion to Christianity. As a result he lived out his life spreading Christianity through the Roman Empire. Are these types of experiences open to all members or just those spiritual elites like prophets, shamen, saints, monks, or nuns who hold a certain status?

Introduction to Religion

Ethiopia's population is highly diverse with different languages and ethnic datmetopen.com of its people speak an Ethiosemitic or Cushitic language which are both part of the Afroasiatic language family, while others speak Nilo-Saharan datmetopen.com Oromo, Amhara, Somali and Tigrayans make up more than three-quarters (75%) of the population, but there are more than 80 different ethnic groups. African literature - African literature - The influence of oral traditions on modern writers: Themes in the literary traditions of contemporary Africa are worked out frequently within the strictures laid down by the imported religions Christianity and Islam and within the struggle between traditional and modern, between rural and newly urban, between genders, and between generations. They were assisted in this invasion by the armed Western Somali Liberation Front. Ethiopian forces were driven back far inside their own frontiers but, with the assistance of a massive Soviet airlift of arms and 17, Cuban combat forces, they stemmed the attack. [86] The last major Somali regular units left the Ogaden March 15,

Church of St. George, c. Ethiopia is a country in Africa with ancient Christian roots. It possesses a vigorous artistic tradition and is home to hundreds of old churches and monasteries perched at the top of hard-to-access mountains, hidden by lush vegetation, or surrounded by the tranquil waters of one of its lakes.

The introduction of Christian elements in art and the construction of churches in Ethiopia must have started shortly after the introduction of Christianity and continues to this day, since about half of the population are practicing Christians. It is a broad definition of spaces and artworks with an Orthodox Christian character that encompasses churches and their decorations as well as illuminated manuscripts and a range of objects crosses, chalices, patens, icons, etc. We can infer that from the thirteenth century onwards works of art were for the most part produced by members of the Ethiopian clergy.

Scholars still disagree on how to divide and classify the development of Christian Ethiopian art into chronological phases. In this essay, the development of Christian Ethiopian art is broadly divided into the eight periods listed below, but it must be kept in mind that the dates for the earlier periods are still debated and we have very limited evidence prior to the early Solomonic period This period takes its name from the city of Aksum which had been the capital of Ethiopia for several centuries before the conversion to Christianity of King Ezana who ruled from c.

While we cannot rule out the possibility that Christianity had been present in the country prior to the conversion of this ruler , it is only starting from this period that expressions of distinctly Christian beliefs appear in the material record. A small number of Ethiopian churches, such as Debre Damo above and Degum, can be tentatively ascribed to the Aksumite period. These two structures probably date to the 6th century or later. Still standing pre-6th century Aksumite churches have not been confidently identified.

However, archaeologists believe that a small number of now-ruined structures dating to the 4th or 5th century functioned as churchesa conclusion based on features such as their orientation. A large stepped podium in the compound of the church of Mary of Zion in Aksum considered by the Ethiopians as the dwelling place of the Ark of the Covenant , probably once gave access to a large church built during this period. Gold coin, c. Obverse showing head and shoulders bust of King Endubis facing right, wearing headcloth with rays at forehead and triangular ribbon behind, framed by two wheat-stalks.

Disc and crescent at top. Aksumite churches adopted the basilica plan. These churches were constructed using well-established local building techniques and their style reflects local traditions.

Although very little art survives from the Aksumite period, recent radiocarbon analyses of two illuminated Ethiopic manuscripts known as the Garima Gospels suggest that these were produced respectively between the 4th-6th and 5th-7th centuries.

Aksumite coins left can also be looked at to gain insight into artistic conventions of the period. A number of factors contributed to the gradual impoverishment and decline of the Aksumite kingdom. Very little is known about this phase of Ethiopian history and scholars even disagree on the dates of its beginning and end.

The political center of Ethiopia seems to have gradually shifted to the southern and eastern parts of the Tigray region in the Post-Aksumite period. A few churches in these areas have been tentatively attributed to this period, but subsequent adaptations combined with the inability to obtain permissions to conduct archaeological surveys make dating difficult.

It seems likely that churches continued to be built as well as hewn cut out of rock. A group of funerary hypogea underground chambers in the Hawzien plain in northern Ethiopia may have been transformed into churches during the post-Aksumite period.

This could be the case for churches such as Abreha-we-Atsbeha below and Tcherqos Wukro the paintings in these churches probably date from a later period. According to local oral traditions, a small number of iron crosses date to the Aksumite or Post-Aksumite periods, but the absence of reliable dating methods and the fact that such crosses were produced at least until the sixteenth century, makes it extremely difficult to verify these claims.

Interior of the church of Abreha-we-Atsbeha, post-Aksumite Period? By the first half of the twelfth century, the center of power of the Christian Kingdom had shifted even further south, to the Lasta region a historic district in north-central Ethiopia.

From their capital Adeffa, members of the Zagwe dynasty from whom this period takes its name , ruled over a realm which stretched from much of modern Eritrea to northern and central Ethiopia. While limited evidence about their capital exists, the churches of Lalibelaa town which takes its name from the Zagwe ruler credited with its foundingstand as a testament to the artistic achievements of this period. Bete Maryam, Lalibela, Ethiopia, 12thth century photo: A.

Davey, CC BY 2. The tradition of hewing churches out of rock, already attested in the previous periods, is here taken to a whole new level. The churches, several of which are free-standing, such as Bete Gyorgis Church of St.

They include architectural elements inspired by buildings from the Aksumite Period. Furthermore, some, such as Bete Maryam, feature exquisite internal decorations above , which are also carved out of the rock, as well as wall paintings. The interiors of the churches blend Aksumite elements with more recent elements of Copto-Arabic derivation. In Bete Maryam, for example, the architectural elementssuch as the hewn capitals and window framesimitate Aksumite models see below , whereas the paintings can be compared with those in the medieval Monastery of St.

Antony at the Red Sea. Several wooden altars survive from this period, some decorated with figures, together with numerous crosses, some of which are engraved. No illuminated manuscripts or icons from this period have been discovered thus far. By , the last Zagwe ruler was overthrown by Yekunno Amlak, who claimed to descend from the kings of the Aksumite period and traced his lineage all the way back to the biblical union of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

His descendantsthe Solomonicsruled Ethiopia until the third quarter of the twentieth century. For much of this period, the Solomonics did not have a fixed capital, but moved across the country according to the seasons and their needs. The Solomonics were as active as patrons of the arts as their predecessors, and endowed churches with hundreds of precious gifts. Works of art were also donated to ecclesiastic centers by nobles and clergymen, as well as by individuals known from dedicatory inscriptions on the work they commissioned.

The rock-cut church of Gannata Maryam , a few kilometers south-east of Lalibela, features an almost complete set of murals depicting saints, angels, and motifs inspired by the New Testament. The church also features a portrait of Yekunno Amlak. Numerous illuminated manuscripts, particularly Gospel books , were created between the late thirteenth and early fifteenth centuries. By the turn of the fifteenth century other manuscripts, especially Psalters , are frequently illustrated and crosses are often embellished with depictions of saints and of the Virgin and Child above.

The earliest surviving Ethiopian icons also date from this century above and below. While other artistic mediums used during the fifteenth century are largely indebted to the art of the fourteenth century, the icons feature new iconographic motifs and the lines are more elegant and sinuous and the figures have less rigid poses.

After a period of relative stability in the fifteenth century, a sequence of events shook the Ethiopian kingdom to its foundations, bringing it to the brink of collapse. First, came an invasion from the neighboring Muslim Sultanate of Adal led by a general called Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi whose army pillaged and destroyed numerous churches and Christian works of art across the country between and To make matters worse, the conversion to Catholicism of Emperor Susenyos in soon plunged the country into a civil war, for many of his subjects refused to adhere to the religious beliefs and liturgical practices that the Jesuit missionaries present in Ethiopia wanted to enforce.

The conflict lasted until his abdication in favor of his son Fasilides in However, as such, this description of transition is applicable to most historical periods, and is therefore not particularly helpful.

The art produced during the mid-Solomonic period reflects the difficult situation the country was in. The practice of decorating manuscripts with pictures and geometric motifs declined considerably, and few crosses and churches have been confidently attributed to the sixteenth century. Moreover, although numerous icons from this period have survived, these seldom achieve the linear elegance of painted panels from the fifteenth-century.

The ascent to the throne of Fasilides in marks the beginning of a period of renewed stability for Ethiopia and the Solomonic dynasty. Fasilides ordered a new a capital, Gondar, about 50 kilometers north of Lake Tana the largest lake in Ethiopia. He and his successors funded the construction of palaces and banquet halls within the royal compound that still exist today and they promoted the building of churches near by and in the Lake Tana region.

The adoption of a circular plan for the construction of churches becomes standard as opposed to the longitudinal format of the basilica. Scholars usually divide the Gondarine period into two stylistic phases. The first Gondarine style above , is characterized by the use of bright colors and the absence of shading. The clothing, often embellished with decorative elements, is usually painted in red, blue or yellow and the folds are indicating with simple parallel lines.

The contour lines are well-defined and the modeling of the face is executed using a plain coral red resulting in an unnatural effect.

Works painted in the second Gondarine style below , which was developed roughly during the reign of Iyasu II , have darker shades of color; the contour lines become lighter and a more delicate use of shading confers volume to the bodies and faces of the figures.

A number of new themes, many of which were inspired from books printed in Europe, appear during the eighteenth century and it becomes increasingly common to find depictions of donors and patrons.

Numerous crosses like this processional cross from The British Museum , decorated with depictions of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and saints were produced during the second part of the Gondarine period. This period, which lasted almost a century, saw a decline in the prestige, influence, and authority of the Solomonics, and witnessed the rise of a number of regional warlords who fought against each other for supremacy.

This period has received less attention from historians, but seems to have been characterized by a decline in the production of art. Paintings from this period are strongly indebted to works executed during the second Gondarine style in terms of themes and forms, but the palette used by artists moves once again toward bright, plain colors.

The final historical period begins with the ascent to the throne of Tewodros II, who claimed Solomonic descent and ends with the deposition of Haile Selassie, the event that marks the end of Solomonic rule in Ethiopia. During the second half of the nineteenth century, church painting continues to show indebtedness to the second Gondarine style, but contemporary figures and events are depicted next to religious subjects with an increasing frequency. Moreover, while patrons had occasionally been depicted from the Zagwe period onwards in an idealized manner, by the turn of the twentieth century they are portrayed more realistically, as can be seen by the painting of Emperor Menelik II above in the church of Entoto Raguel.

After the Second World War, traditionally trained Ethiopian painters, such as Qes Adamu Tesfaw, continued to work alongside artists influenced by modernism. The use of imported synthetic colors became increasingly common and by the s icons and manuscripts were created, to a large extent, for the tourist market. Additional resources. Review of a recent biography of the life of Haile Selassie. Sign up for our newsletter! Receive occasional emails about new Smarthistory content.

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