Tag Archive: religion


A.D. 30

AD 30

A.D. 30: A Novel by Ted Dekker

Published Oct 28, 2014

 

Maviah is the daughter of a Bedouin (or Bedu as they are called in the book) shiekh, Rami bin Malik. She was exiled to Egypt after being born illegitimate, and sold into slavery. She has reluctantly come back to live in her father’s household after becoming pregnant out of wedlock. Despite the fact that the Bedu are traditionally nomadic people, her father has settled down in the city of Dumah. Rami’s wife, the niece of the Nabataean (Southern Jordan and Syria) King Aretas, is dying and in revenge, a rival Bedu tribe (authorized by King Aretas) has come and devastated the city of Dumah. Maviah is tasked with seeing King Herod and getting the support of the occupying Romans to get rid of the rival tribe and King Aretas, after offering the Bedouin trade route through the desert as compensation. She is accompanied by Saba, a powerful but silent black warrior and Judah, a Jewish Bedu. They have to journey through the perilous Nafoud desert to get to Sepphoris in Judea and the palace of King Herod. It is on this mission that Maviah first meets Jesus (called Yeshua in the book) and discovers his teachings, which will forever alter her life and thinking. 3-1/2 stars.

I was contacted by the author’s marketing department to review this book after they saw my review for Tosca Lee’s fabulous book The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen. As I later discovered, Lee and Dekker had worked together on a book series.  I looked at the book blurb and it looked fairly intriguing, so I said yes. The author, Ted Dekker, is known for his “Christian” fiction thrillers. I put Christian in quotes because I read an interview on the author and he doesn’t seem to think of them as Christian per se, but that is what they are labeled. I’m not a huge fan of Biblical Fiction, although I have enjoyed a few of those kind of books in the past. First off, I would like to say how much I liked that the author did his homework in relation to the historical events of the book and overall I enjoyed the story. I really liked Maviah’s story and especially (surprisingly for me, as I’m not very religious) enjoyed the parts relating to her musings on faith and what it means to be faithful, and how that connected with her role as woman and mother. However, the book majorly dragged in the beginning and middle sections, so much so that I several times wanted to stop reading but had promised to write a review and so had to continue. The beginning of the book was rather violent and a bit off-putting to be honest, then the book severely dragged when they were in the desert, then got interesting again at King Herod’s palace and her first meeting with Yeshua, then dragged again when she met King Aretas, and so forth. And then when I was really getting into the story at the end of the book, he suddenly ended it and there will be a sequel (entitled A.D.33). This made me a little upset because the book was already long and it wouldn’t have taken much to finish it up, and therefore not that many more pages, instead of a whole separate book. That is why the book earned 3-1/2 stars instead of 4.

Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader’s copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

The Legend of Sheba

The Legend of Sheba

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee

To be published: Sept 9, 2014

Set in tenth century B.C.E., Bilqis is the daughter of one of the most beautiful wives of the King of Saba, also known as Sheba (located in modern-day Yemen). After her mother passes away, she is targeted by the new wife and forced to flee to her mother’s homeland of Punt (the actual location is disputed, but we’ll say that it is in modern-day Ethiopia). She takes on a new identity and becomes Makeda. Once she becomes eighteen and her father is gravely ill, she is taken back to Saba and successfully regains the throne. King Solomon of Judea, famous for his hundreds of wives which provided many alliances and his wealth, starts up a correspondence with the Queen and this continues for awhile until he demands she send an emissary. Lonely and intrigued by this man, she decides to go herself to see him. What happens next is written in the Bible, the Qu’ran and other texts.

I will admit that I originally picked up this book after reading Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus book The Ring of Solomon, which briefly mentioned both King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Also, I did an art talk on Ethiopian Orthodox art and happened upon the origin story The Glory of the Kings, which describes the Ethiopian kings being descended from the mythical Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, made me curious to know more about her. It reminded me of something of both Ancient Egyptian history and the Arabian Nights. I love books about strong historical women and this book did not disappoint in that regard. I love that she conquered Solomon with her words and by not revealing her face for most of the storyline! I was glad that she managed to find some true love, despite the tragedy in her life. I think I liked and respected her more because she did not grow up a privileged brat but rather had to fend for herself and fight to be independent as a ruler and lover. Highly recommended, 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received this advanced reader’s copy book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I first posted about Rembrandt back in July, but I had so much material, I decided to do two separate posts. In the first one, I covered a basic life story and featured paintings that described the man himself, namely a self-portrait (he completed more than 90), and paintings of his wife Saskia, son Titus and common-law wife Hendrickje. These three are probably my favorite paintings by the artist. I will describe them chronologically by date produced.

Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, 1630

 Rembrandt_Jeremiah_lamenting

I first discovered this painting in the gift shop of the Rijksmuseum, when I had gone back at age twenty-one to further explore the museum. My first trip was very rushed as we were part of a tour group, but for the second trip I was on my own and could take my time. I am a little embarrassed to say I don’t think I actually knew it was by Rembrandt, but just liked the look of it, especially the chiaroscuro aspects of it (the way the artist paints the light and darkness to explain the subject matter). According to the Bible, Jeremiah prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, which resulted in the beginning of the Babylonian Exile of the Jewish people. It is crazy to think that this painting was done when the painter was only 24 years old, as it shows a level of maturity not only in the subject matter but the way he handles it.

In the painting, as the title suggests, Jeremiah is upset over the destruction of Jerusalem, something he foretold but no one listened to him (rather like Cassandra during the Trojan War). The city of Jerusalem burns in the background of the painting. He leans on a Bible or what might be the Book of Jeremiah or the Book of Lamentations, and it is supporting him. He has managed to secure a few of the holy relics that were kept in the Temple of Solomon, seen burning in the background. To get a glimpse into the mind of the prophet, I found this website which seems to best describes it: “Jeremiah had failed as a prophet of the Lord to convince his people of the city’s destruction and was punished for it by the king. Though the fault was not his, the guilt must have weighted heavily on his mind. The guilt and the pain of a failed prophet was revealed in this painting.”

The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenhurch , 1642

 The Night Watch - Rembrandt

As I have said in the previous post, I first saw this painting when I was sixteen on my first remembered trip to Europe. I was in awe of its size at first glance (nearly 12 x 14 ft), though it was many years and Baroque art history class before I could actually tell you anything of consequence about the painting. The title it is known most often by isThe Night Watch, which is ironic, as the original painting was not set during night-time but the day.  A dark varnish had been applied for most of its life, due to the brown that Rembrandt was found of using, and that combined with several hundred years of dirt had made it appear dark.

The painting shows a group portrait of a city militia led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq, who was also the mayor of Amsterdam. According to this Guardian post,

“Companies of urban militia were part of the everyday life of the Dutch Republic, as it asserted its independence from the Spanish empire. Instead of a distinguished company of worthy officers and well-trained men Rembrandt shows a baroque profusion of gestures and expressions, a raggle taggle crowd of comic types from an old soldier hunched over his gun to the preening figures of the militia captain and his lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch. Rembrandt’s masterpiece in modern times has come to epitomize Dutch national pride.”

The piece was commissioned by the Captain and 17 members of his guard. There were more members of the company of men, but only 18 paid, so they were featured in the painting. Rembrandt added an additional 16 figures to make the scene more animated. According to this page, ironically by the time the painting was completed, watches were no longer needed. “Their meetings had been diverted chiefly to social or sporting purposes; if they may be said to have any particular destination in the painting, it is perhaps to march into the fields for a shooting contest or to take part in a parade.” The painting was originally placed in the Kloveniersdoelen, or the headquarters of the Arquebusiers (Musket-bearing civic guard) in Amsterdam. It was later moved in 1715 to Amsterdam’s Town Hall and it was then that the painting was damaged and two figures on the left side were cut off to make sure the painting would fit. It eventually ended up in the newly finished Rijksmuseum in 1885 and has remained there ever since.

The painting is unique as it was “by far the most revolutionary painting Rembrandt had yet made, transforming the traditional Dutch group portrait into a dazzling blaze of light, color and motion, and subordinating the requirements of orthodox portraiture to a far larger, more complex but still unified whole.” The men in the painting are shown in action, in the middle of getting ready for a patrol. You can almost hear the men shouting, the drums being played, the dog barking and muskets being loaded as everyone prepares. The Captain is featured in the center of the painting in dark clothing and a red sash, with hand outstretched. His lieutenant is dressed in yellow with a white sash.  Yellow was seen as the color of victory, which is completely different than its connotations nowadyas. Rembrandt reportedly placed himself in the painting in the center, to the left behind the Captain. The man immediately to Rembrandt’s left is holding up the company’s colors with the flags. There is a dog  to the right of the lieutenant, though he may be hard to see, as part of the dog is on the spot where the painting was attacked in 1975 and there was a zigzag rip in the piece. The little girl bathed in golden light to the left of the captain is a bit of a mystery. Some believe that she is the mascot of the company, as she is shown with, according to this Wikipedia article “the claws of a dead chicken on her belt represent the clauweniers (arquebusiers); the pistol behind the chicken stands for ‘clover’; and, she is holding the militia’s goblet.” Some believe that Rembrandt’s wife Saskia was used as a model for the girl, and I must say that there is a resemblance. I can’t say for sure if this is true as she died the same year the painting was completed.

To learn more about this piece, check out this CNN article. To check one way that The Night Watch has influenced popular culture is to check out this flashmob created by the Rijksmuseum called “Our Heroes Are Back” done at a Dutch shopping mall in April 2013. I thought this was a great idea, especially as it was highlighting the reopening of the museum (after its’ 10 year remodeling closure from 2003-2013). I wish people would do things like this in American shopping centers to celebrate art.

The Jewish Bride, c. 1665-1669

 the-jewish-bride-Rembrandt

This painting is known as one of the greatest portraits ever created, and is one of the best the Rembrandt painted in the final years of his life. It is not actually known who the painting is supposed to depict, but most art historians believe the painting to be a couple portrait with the figures representing Isaac and Rebecca from the Old Testament. According to this website  (which quotes the Rijksmuseum – where the painting resides):

“The painting became known as the ‘Jewish Bride’ in the early 19th century after the Amsterdam art collector, Van der Hoop, identified the subject of the painting as a Jewish father hanging a necklace around his daughter’s neck on her wedding day. In light of this interpretation, several scholars claim the couple could be figures from the bible, perhaps Isaac and Rebecca (having masked the true nature of their relationship to the Philistine king Abimelech), Jacob and Rachel, Judah and Tamar or Boaz and Ruth, or a variety of figures from the New Testament and the Apocrypha.” For more information on whether or not The Jewish Bride is actually Jewish or not, check out the above link.

On to the content of the painting itself. I will admit that the first time I saw this painting, I thought it was a little pervy. Is he coping a feel, putting a necklace on or pledging his love to her by placing his hand over her heart? Having studied art history in past and more to the point, Baroque art, especially Rembrandt’s work, I would go for the final answer. My interpretation is backed up by this website which says, “The man places his hand on the woman’s bosom, while she moves instinctively to protect her modesty, in keeping with the new aesthetics of Protestant Reformation Art (c.1520-1700). Yet both show every sign of tenderness towards each other, so this is hardly a typical seduction scene.”

Whoever the subjects of the painting were in real life, they are obviously very well off, as exemplified by the rich reds and golds used. According to this website: “Rembrandt used a palette knife instead of a brush to apply the gold on the man’s sleeve with thick strokes which reflect the light, and in the woman’s red dress some parts are laid on so thickly that the paint itself creates light and shadow. The man’s coat consists of several layers of paint not only applied but also scratched and scraped to give the effect of cloth of gold.”

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Self-Portait, 1659

Rembrandt Self Portait 1659

Since Rembrandt’s 407th birthday was on Monday, I figured now would be as good a time as any to do another art post, as I really enjoy them even though it takes me forever to create one. Pretty much everyone has heard of the painter Rembrandt. His name brings up the image of some of his more famous works, such as The Nightwatch or one of his many self – portraits. If you would like to know more about the artist, check out this biography. I was first exposed to Rembrandt the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school, when I took my first European trip. I was born in Germany and lived there for a few years, but this is the first trip that I remember. We had gone to the Rijksmuseum (State Museum) in Amsterdam, and I had briefly seen The Nightwatch by Rembrandt on a whirlwind tour through the museum. I was amazed that one painting could be so enormous, as it took up an entire wall, floor to ceiling. I didn’t get to examine it in thoroughly until about four years later, while on Spring Break during my Study-Abroad to Italy. Around this time, my mom became totally enthralled with his version of Return of the Prodigal Son , and had a large poster of it in her office when she was a parish priest. I also viewed his work and others like it for a Chiuroscuro exhibition at the Rembrandt House . This was where the artist lived and worked for about 20 years before it became too much of a financial burden, and it is now a museum. During my undergraduate degree in Art History, I took a class on Baroque art which featured his art along with many other artists.

For this blog post, I plan on examining this famous artist by discussing key aspects of his life, in particular his relationships with others. In particular, I would like to focus on his wife Saskia, his son Titus and his mistress/common law wife Hendrickje. I would also like to discuss two of his most famous works, The Nightwatch and The Jewish Bride (Isaac and Rebecca) because I enjoy them, but will do so in a separate post.

He met Saskia through her cousin Hendrick, in whose house Rembrandt was living in 1633, and she became a regular sitter for his artwork. She died of Tuberculosis in 1642, and their son Titus was born just seven months before her death. In addition to making him Titus’s sole guardian, Saskia’s will also, according to this paper from the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University, “dictated (as was usual) that Rembrandt would forfeit his interest in Saskia’s property if he ever remarried; for whatever reason, he never did.” The painting I would like to examine is one that he completed only a year after they got married. It is entitled Saskia van Uylenburgh in Arcadian Costume. According to this blog post on the two of them, “Rembrandt has dressed her as a deity of youth, rebirth and beauty, along with her rustic shepherdess’s staff. This idyllic and pastoral setting was very popular with the upper-class Dutch society in the early seventeenth century. They had a love of all things to do with the romantic ideal of life in the countryside which they perceived as unadulterated bliss.”

Saskia van Ulylenburgh in Arcadian Costume, 1635

rembrandt-van-rijn-saskia-van-uylenburgh-in-arcadian-costume-1635

 I’ve always been fascinated by Saskia, as he always seems to paint her with almost ethereal quality with her light-colored hair in a halo around her head. They were only married a very short time but he seems to think of her as the love of his life and is devastated when she dies before the age of 30, and only married for seven years. I guess I am a little curious what she saw in him. After all, all though he seemed to have a good education, he came from a less prosperous family (his father was a miller) than her very large wealthy family. Not to say he’s a bum or a mooch, but it is hard for people from two social classes to get along properly at times. It is interesting to note that her family approved of the match, but his family did not because of religious reasons (he cut ties with them after this). Obviously from the viewpoint of Rembrandt it was a good match because her cousin Hendrick was a well-known art dealer who helped him advance his career.

Rembrandt’s son Titus is the first living child out of four that his mother Saskia brought into this world. He became a painter like his father and married a silversmith’s daughter. It is interesting to note that the woman he married was a relative of Saskia, Titus’s mother, and was specifically chosen to avoid any further lawsuits from her against Rembrandt, in the future, over money issues. Titus lived to age 27, dying of the plague one year before his father and his wife had a daughter 6 months after that. My favorite painting of him is one that is in the Rijksmuseum, and shows him in a monk’s habit.

Titus van Rijn Dressed in a Monk’s Habit, 1660

Titus van Rijn in a Monk's Habit by Rembrandt

Hendrickje came into Rembrandt’s life originally as his housekeeper/maid. At the time, he was having a relationship with Titus’s nurse Geertje, but it was not as serious as his relationship with Hendrickje, with whom he fathered a child. I did find it sort of amusing on this blog post that “in June 1654 the Council of the Reformed Church of Amsterdam got wind of this relationship and summoned Rembrandt and Hendrickje to stand before them. Rembrandt was not a practicing churchgoer so the matter against him was dropped. Hendrickje however was accused of whoredom and of living with a man, unwed [oh yeah blame the female maid and not her employer]. Being six months pregnant there was little point in denying the charge. Her punishment was being unable to receive communion.” Another part of the reason the church made such a big deal about the two of them was because Hendrickje was 20 years younger than Rembrandt, and she had posed nude for the Bathsheba painting. Hendrickje gave him a daughter in June 1654. She, and possibly Geertje, become his common-law wives.  She died 9 years later, likely of bubonic plague.

For awhile, she was his muse and he painted and probably drew her image multiple times. The most famous painting she posed for was Bathsheba at Her Bath, now in the Louvre. The story is taken from the Old Testament of the Bible. King David is standing on the roof of his palace and sees a beautiful woman taking a bath. He finds out that she is Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite. David starts lusting after her and sends her a letter asking her to come/summoning her to the palace, where they will eventually consumate their relationship. As soon as he realizes that she is pregnant with his child, David sends Uriah on a deadly battle mission and he is killed in action. The king marries Bathsheba but the child does not survive, as it has been cursed by God, thanks to David’s method of consummation. Normally most versions of this painting show Bathsheba as David first spies her, but Rembrandt sets the scene a bit later, after she gets the summons from the king and is holding it in her hand and trying to decide what to do. Should she be unfaithful to her husband? Or should not even consider this and just be faithful to her king and do his bidding? She is sad in her contemplation, and perhaps a bit guilty. A servant kneels at her feet and washes them. She is surrounded by a golden brocaded robe, and yet holds a simple white shift in her hand. I like that the woman in the painting does not look like a supermodel, but more  like someone’s actual wife. It is as  this article says “The models were no ethereal beauties, but ordinary Dutch women, who could make good use of the money they earned by posing. But Rembrandt also had prints in his collection after paintings by Italians, whose canvases usually represented women of ideal beauty. He put Bathsheba about halfway between the two.”

Bathsheeba at Her Bath, 1654

Bathsheba at Her Bath - Rembrandt 1654

Ethiopian Orthodox Art

Mary and Jesus with Archangels (similar to a piece from the exhibition)

Mary and Jesus with Archangels

This past Saturday I was asked to give a talk on Ethiopian Orthodox Church art for an exhibition that has been going on since March at our church. Though I have training in Museum and Gallery Studies, and especially art with my Art History undergraduate degree, I had never actually given an art talk. So it was both nerve-wracking and exciting for me, and I spent about three weeks researching the topic (which was rather complicated and hard to summarize, but everyone in attendance seemed to enjoy it). A parishioner and member of the church committee that I’m a part of called Faith Through the Arts, allowed us to use her pieces for this first exhibit. They consisted of Ethiopian Orthdox Church icons on wood and goatskin that featured brightly colored images of the Virgin Mary, Jesus and the Apostles, St Gabriel and St Michael and the Tinity, amongst others. Below is the paper I wrote for the art talk.

Jesus Washing the Feet of His Disciples

Jesus washing feet of disciples

The History of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Its Icons and Crosses 

Ethiopians became polytheistic starting in the first millennium BCE. Around 960 BCE the Queen of Sheba visited Jerusalem and met the famous King Solomon. When she came back to Ethiopia, she bore him a son. Once the son got older, he visited Jerusalem and brought back Levites (who were in charge of religious duties in the city) and supposedly the Ark of the Covenant (which held the 10 Commandments). “A replica of these tablets, known as a Tabot, is placed in the Holy of Holies [what we refer to as the sanctuary] at the heart of each Ethiopian Orthodox church building.”[1]

Christianity became the official religion in the 4th century CE. However, there were Christians there much earlier than that. “In the Acts of the Apostles, [Chapter] VIII: 26-40, we are told of a certain Eunuch, who went with the treasures of Queen Candace of Ethiopia, to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel. There he met Philip the Deacon and was baptized by him. Ethiopian tradition asserts that he returned home and evangelized the people. In his Homily on Pentecost, St. John Chrysostom mentions that the Ethiopians were present in the Holy City on the day of Pentecost.”[2]

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was founded after a Christian philosopher and two relatives, Frumentius and his brother from Phoenicia (modern-day Lebanon), ran out of supplies and were stranded in the capital city of Axum. Frumentius helped spread Christianity in the city before being appointed the archbishop of the country. He converted the king and it became the state religion. “In fact, the EthiopianChurch exists today as self-governing, though it traditionally shares the same faith with Egypt’s Coptic Church. Until 1955, its Patriarch was a Coptic bishop sent from Alexandria, though that changed in 1959, and ever since then, a native Ethiopian has been the Abuna, or Patriarch. The main way that the Coptic Church is different from mainstream Orthodox Christians is that they believe that Christ has a divine nature in which the human nature is contained versus being two distinct halves.”[3] This belief has also kept them at arm’s length from Catholics and Protestants. “Wishing to stress that Christ has only one, simultaneously human and divine nature, the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia also refers to itself as the Tewahedo (also spelled tewahido), or “Made One / Unity,” Church.”[4]

Christians in Ethiopia have had their faith tested by the Muslims, who controlled Ethiopia from the 7th – 16th centuries. Today Muslims make up 25-40% of the Ethiopian population. They have also tried to protect themselves from other Christians – the Roman Catholic Church tried to bring them into the Western communion with the help of the Jesuits – but failed. The Catholics tried again during the time of Mussolini, but this attempt failed as well.

            The language spoken in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is Ge’ez, which is a Semitic language, like Hebrew and Arabic. Unlike these two though, it is written left to right instead of right to left. Few people outside of clergy understand Ge’ez and nowadays, most services are conducted in Amharic, the official language of modern Ethiopia.Today the Ethiopian Church is unique among Orthodox communities in several respects, including the use of drumming and liturgical dance and the continuance of Jewish practices such as circumcision, the observance of dietary restrictions, and the keeping of the Sabbath.”[5] The church came to America officially in 1959 after the Abuna of Ethiopia was officially recognized as the Patriarch of the Church, but has since drifted away from the MotherChurch in Africa.

            Icons have long been a tradition in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, as they are an important visual representation of the scriptures. Painting of books and manuscripts started as early as the 6th Century CE, though mass production of icons didn’t start until the 15th century, after a change in church liturgy occured. There were icons produced prior to that, but none have survived. The most productive time for Ethiopian Orthodox icons was the 17th and 18th centuries. “Thematically, Ethiopian iconography was strongly influenced by Byzantine models; later Ethiopian art also reveals the influence of Western religious painting. Nonetheless, the vibrancy and simplicity of Ethiopian iconography mark out a distinctive style in the history of Christian art.”[6] Like in Western churches, patrons paid for commissions to create the icons and donated them to the churches. “Stored with other sacred objects, icons were displayed on holy days and in public processionals. [This is also the case with the Tabots, the replicas of the 10 Commandments, which each church has in their sanctuary.] With the donors’ hopes of obtaining divine intercession, images of Mary, the Mother of God, are understandably the dominant theme.”[7] Large icons were created to be used in church processions, while smaller ones were created to be carried around by individuals such as the ones in Glenna’s collection.

            Each icon is painted on either paneled wood or goat skin. They have a base layer of white paint called gesso, which is put down before any actual image painting starts. Originally the paints came from natural sources, such as minerals, plants and clay. Later on, because of their extensive trade with European countries, the artists used manufactured paints.

Although Ethiopian and Byzantine iconography is very similar there are some differences. The Ethiopian icons use a wider variety of bright colors, there is no use of gold in the backgrounds, there is rarely any text and the saints and other holy figures frequently have painted rather than golden halos. They also tend to depict the Trinity, which is not encouraged in the ByzantineChurch. “Among the more favored subjects of Ethiopian iconography are the Flight from Egypt (as a reminder that Africa sheltered the Holy Family); St. George, the patron of Ethiopia, who is often seen close to Mary; Mary and the Christ Child flanked by angels; St. Michael the Archangel; the Nine Saints, who are often depicted in a circle; various events from the lives of Mary and Jesus; and Ethiopian saints, especially Takla Haymanot from the 13th century.”[8]

            Ethiopian Orthodox crosses follow four basic styles: Axumite (from the ancient capital city of Axum), Lalibella, the Star of King David and Gondor. “However within these basic four styles, there are hundreds of design variations for the main types of crosses, i.e. the large Processional Crosses used for church service, the Hand Crosses held by Priests and used for blessing the laypeople, the small ‘Cross Toppers’ for the church prayer sticks or rods used by Hermit Monks (called Batawe, who travel the country in constant prayer). There are also Pendant Crosses worn by the faithful.”[9]


[1] Taken 6/20/13 from Betsy Porter at: http://www.betsyporter.com/Ethiopia.html,

[2]Selassie, Sergew Hable and Tamerat, Tadesse. “The Church of Ethiopia: A Panorama of History and Spiritual Life” Addis Ababa: Dec 1970. A publication of the EOTC. Taken 6/7/13 from: http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/ethiopian/prechristian.html

[3] Taken 6/7/13 from the Imperial Family of Ethiopia at: http://www.imperialethiopia.org/religions.htm

[5] Taken 6/14/13 from Michael S. Allen of the The Pluralism Project at: http://pluralism.org/affiliates/student/allen/Oriental Orthodox/Ethiopian/EthiopianLangAndCulture.html, 2005.

[6] Taken 6/14/13 from Michael S. Allen of The Pluralism Project at: http://pluralism.org/affiliates/student/allen/Oriental-Orthodox/Ethiopian/EthiopianIconography.html, 2005.

[7] Taken 6/14/13 from Bryna Freyer, National Museum of African Art at: http://www.nmafa.si.edu/exhibits/icons/faith.html, 2003.

[9] Taken 6/20/13 from Emahoy Hannah Miriam Whyte of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Info at: http://www.ethiopianorthodoxchurch.info/PhotosOfCrosses.html, 2008.

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