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Title: Unity among Evangelical churches in Ethiopia : a practical theological investigation
Author: Hailegiorgis, Samson Estifanos
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 9528
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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This research expounds the understanding and practice of unity among the evangelical churches in Ethiopia and recommends an empirically-grounded and scholarly-informed praxis towards unity. Ethiopia is known for its long Orthodox Christian tradition that has played a key role in shaping the socio-cultural values of the nation. Evangelicalism, a less than a century old Christian movement in the country. was initiated by Western evangelical missions and developed by the native converts. For various social, political and theological reasons, the movement has faced resistance from established institutions and government functionaries. Nevertheless, evangelicalism has shown resilience and is now the fastest growing and influential religious group in Ethiopia. Practical theological investigation is the overarching methodology employed in this research. To explore the empirical reality of the subject, an approach that employed qualitative and quantitative social research methods with a methodological triangulation was utilized. Furthermore, prominent fieldwork findings are engaged in conversation with the current scholarship from historical, sociological, and theological disciplines. In other words, this is a multi-stage approach that retrieves primary data from the fieldwork and complements it with a secondary data from relevant scholarship. The empirical findings are the results of a year-long period of fieldwork, undertaken in 2007. The fieldwork included a three-month extensive review of the 656 official files of evangelical churches and para-churches held at the archive at the Federal Ministry of Justice of Ethiopia. This archive has not previously been investigated by scholars. Furthermore, near 800 informants, mainly evangelical church leaders, para-church coordinators, evangelical father figures, ecumenical bodies, and government officials participated in the interviews and group discussions. The thesis begins with related profiles of the nation, general theological reflections on prominent issues, the methodology employed and its application. Later, it presents the detailed account of the contemporary evangelical churches in the country vis-a-vis the established knowledge on the subject and heritages of evangelicalism. Finally, the thesis proposes twelve building-block concepts and a stepping-stone model of church unity. In sum, this path-breaking research affirms that despite their feeble nature of church unity, through a knowledge-based endeavour, the evangelical churches in Ethiopia could come into an empirically-oriented and theologically-sound visible unity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Faculty of Humanities Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available