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A History of the First Estifanosite Monks

Authors:  Haile G.

Year: 2011
ISBN: 978-90-429-2512-0
Pages: VIII-109p.
Price: 60 EURO

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In the fifteenth century, a fearless Abba Estifanos and his followers openly criticized the monastic leaders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for what the monks saw as a gross disregard of monastic rules in the monastic leaders' relationship with political leaders. These monks of the Monastery of Gundagunde, in the province of Tegray, spoke out against the practice of having the monarch appoint abbots to head the large monasteries. Further, they dismissed as unchristian all religious practices that were not prescribed in, or proscribed by, the Eighty-One Canonical Scriptures of the Church. Most of all, they refused to bow to anything or anybody other than the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, including the king. Such defiance in a theocratic polity, in which the monarch was the head of the Church and State, was an extremely dangerous posture. Consequently, Abba Estifanos and his followers suffered unspeakable martyrdom.
Vol. 635 tells the amazing story of these monks as they themselves recorded it in Ge'ez, the liturgical language of the Church. Vol. 636 is its English version. It is woth noting that although the narrative is hagiographical, the pertinent facts contained in the text are independently verifiable.

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