The Efficacy Of Benediction And Prayer Among The Amhara Society

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The fic ld of anthropology of rcli gion has thrived in rccent dccades with crcati vc in tcll cctuals. rnShyin g away from general definiti ons, present scholars dealing with reli gion, in one way or th e rnoth er, are more concemed with how reli gion is ex hibited in everyday interaction of individuals rnand the society as a whole. Thereby, locating the study of reli gion in a specifi c cultural setting, rnth e hi ghl ands of RayyaQobbowereda,this paper is an account of how the Ethi opian Orthodox rnChurch is expressed at a local level. By focusing on the religious prac tices of EI}'o Mereha and rnShenecha, whi ch embodi es benedi cti on and prayer, this thesis describcs how the RayyaQobbo rnpeopl c negoti ate the orthodoxy of thcse reli gious prac ticcs in line with EOC traditi on. The rndifferent narratives and counter narratives encircling th e question of orthodoxy and effi cacy of rnthese re li gious prac tices are, hence, at the center of this paper. rnMy goal in writing this thesis has been to construct an ethnographic account whi ch includes the rnmajor as well as emerging issues typically addressed in anthropology of religion; syncretism, rnlived religion, reli gious orthodoxy, effi cacy, and rationality.In simil ar manner, by briefl y rnexpli cating the different orthodox and heterodox religious practices performed in this study area, rnthe analysis of this thesis rests on the efficacy of EI}'o Mere/xl and Shenecha in line with the rnefficacy and rational ity of rei igious practices and rei igion in general. Tn additi on, syncreti c rnelements and how these elements are used to authenti cate their reli gious experi ence are also part rnof this paper. rnAs an anthropologist as well as an indi vidual who happens to be reli gious, therefore, havi ng rnleni ency towards biased views, I have tri ed my best to wri te in a mann er and style whi ch is both rnindulgen t and interesting. By considerin g the histori cal and cul tural mili eu, I have sought to rnavoid unnecessary technical jargon.Giving anteeedenee to the peopl e's voice, I alsostri ved to be rnnon-partisan,as ] can be, in a work covering such exc iting and contenti ous topi cs. I havc rnattcmptcd, th ercforc, to prcscnt as clearl y and concisc ly as possible, th e major positions, rnargumcnts for, and rebuttals to the top ic at hand.

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The Efficacy Of Benediction And Prayer Among The Amhara Society

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