Haile Selassie and the Religious Field: Generative Structuralism and Christian Missions in Ethiopia
|Craig, Jason Edward
|With the momentum of previous Emperors, Haile Selassie steered Ethiopia on the path to modernization. One of his greatest obstacles was the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC), which, being steeped in sixteen centuries of tradition, was accustomed to being the primary hegemonic power. Pierre Bourdieu's generative structuralism will be employed in this thesis to analyze the EOC's symbolic power as well as Selassie's efforts to dispossess the Church of its cultural power and make it an arm of the state. Controlling the rural periphery of Ethiopia, however meant introducing the basic structures of modernity to ethnic groups who had historically resisted Selassie's Amharic culture. Selassie permitted foreign missions, such as the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) and Swedish Evangelical Mission (SEM), to function as his subcontractors for civilization by building schools, establishing medical stations, and evangelizing the non-Orthodox populations. Selassie failed to anticipate how mission structures contributed to the formation of resistant identities for Maale and Oromo converts. In analyzing these processes, the thesis also employs Robin Horton's theory of conversion while refuting Horton's broader claim about the superficiality of Christianity in Africa.
|Temple University. Libraries
|Theses and Dissertations
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|Religion, History of
|Sociology, Social Structure and Development
|Haile Selassie and the Religious Field: Generative Structuralism and Christian Missions in Ethiopia
|Raines, John C.
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