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Publisher: Universität Hamburg, Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies
Journal: Aethiopica
Languages: French
Types: Article
Subjects: Ethiopian Studies, History; Religion; Christianity; Maḫbär; Sänbäte;, ddc:200, ddc:230, ddc:300, ddc:390, ddc:900, ddc:960
Faithful of the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwaḥǝdo Church gather sometimes into a religious association. We can distinguish two types of religious associations: the maḫbär and the sänbäte. These two types are organized on the same scheme and are led by the faithful themselves. Both are based on a fundamental concept, which is to gather faithful around a banquet for a commemoration. Maḫbär and sänbäte are a representation of a zǝkǝr, a crucial concept in the Ethiopian Christianity. The religious authority is shared by one priest who leads the liturgy of the ritual. The presence of a priest without an organizational role highlights the influence of the laymen to organize their own religious life outwards the cast-iron ecclesiastical organisation. The social and religious influence of these organizations is very important in towns and in the countryside. To be member of these associations is a sign of an important social status in the parish community and the reality of both maḫbär and sänbäte shows the existence of a way of dialogue between the Church and the faithful.
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