An Interpretive Account of Belief and Practice in the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church.
By Abba Haliegebriel Girma.
Price: £7.16 (Amazon)
It is not very common to see a well supported overview of the Tewahedo Orthodox Tradition on major online book stores, especially written in English. Archimandrite Hailegebriel's book comes, therefore, as an unexpected gem amongst a large number of books trying to explain the tradition from an outside and anthropological viewpoint.
The layout of the book contains four sections which cover the structure, doctrines, sacraments and diaspora communities of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church. Considering that the book only spans around 80 pages this is a brave endeavour which generally succeeds in its attempt to give a summary of the Church's stances.
The use of evidence from Scripture and the Church Fathers to support the views is especially well achieved. Almost every aspect of the Faith which is covered in the book is backed up with a Biblical reference to prevent any possible controversy. Many are also placed with explanations from the Church Fathers or the Ethiopian Law of Kings to allow the historical development and practice of Liturgical and Sacramental actions.
Overall the book demonstrates a positive step from the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church, which is sometimes seen as academically lacking in comparison to other Orthodox communities. I would recommend the book to anyone who wants a Theological and Ecclesiological overview of the Church, as it is written for people with a reasonable level of Theological Literacy.
Do not expect an Introduction to the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Faith from the book, as it is not written for this purpose. If you are looking for a brief overview or reference source for the Tewahedo Tradition, this is certainly recommended. When it comes to Theological studies, It is possibly the best guide to Tewahedo Orthodox teaching apart from primary sources, so certainly something to have in your bookshelf.