The Ethiopian Orthodox Tawehedo Church is one of five churches which took a different pathway when they rejected the decisions of a church council at Chalcedon in 451 about the nature of Christ. Along the churches of Egypt, Syria, Armenia and South India – and now Eritrea – they are known at Oriental Orthodox Churches. This distinguishes them from, the Eastern Orthodox Churches of Greece, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
They form a distinctive and often overlooked form of the Christian tradition.
There are over 1,000 monasteries in Ethiopia. This requires us to look again at the monastic tradition of the church to see how it has developed and transformed over centuries while remaining true to its roots in the New Testament.
My book on the monasteries of the eastern Christian tradition shows how monastic life begins in the New Testament as a radical form of discipleship. It took different forms as it spread to Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, the Far East, Africa – and Europe. Monks have shaped the church providing guidance, leadership and heroic examples of faith. The book explores the long story of the monks across continents and ages.