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The Politics of Metanoia

Towards a Post-Nationalistic Political Theology in Ethiopia


Theodros A. Teklu

This book examines and critiques secular modes of self-writing in Ethiopia that put considerable emphasis on the enactment of national/ethnic identity leading to an equivocal situation wherein the ethos that binds people has been greatly eroded. Its analysis demonstrates that such modes of thought are flawed not only on the notion of the human subject, but also inappropriately position the religious or the theological. The book argues that a theological turn generates theological resources for a social horizon of hope – for the apotheosis of the bond of togetherness – which risks thinking politics in an altogether different way beyond the ethno-national logic. This, as the author argues, paves the way for the possibility of a new political subject and the reinvention of politics.
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Part III Theo-political Imagination

← 148 | 149 →Part III


Leaning on the work of the Russian philosopher-theologian, Sergie Bulgakov, I aim to articulate a political theology that addresses the Ethiopian context. Prior to the theological discourse, however, I wish to defend myself from a possible objection on my use of external sources (but whose contents are not completely foreign) to Ethiopia (Chapter 6). In the following chapter, I will clarify on my choice of the Russian theologian and the compatibility between Russian and Ethiopian Orthodoxies, which I succinctly justified in the Introduction to this book. Employing the three-fold (overlapping) theological task of cultural hermeneutics (self-criticism, critique and construction), I will pursue my argument in three stages.

First, I shall argue for a Christian account of agency as a protocol against Christian tendencies that do not avail for resistance against ethno-political ideology. This chapter, Chapter 7, will be more or less a theological self-criticism (of the Church). In Chapter 8, I shall argue for a distinct Christian ontology the aim of which is to counter the social ontology underpinned by ethno-political ideology. After such theological critique, in Chapter 9, I will announce the politics of metanoia as a political theology, which offers an account of an alternative social order.← 149 | 150 →

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