European, not the least Scandinavian, mission societies have played an important role in shaping modern Ethiopia and Eritrea. In spite of this the long-term impact on Ethiopian society by European missions has not yet received much attention. The predominance of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in society and nation makes Ethiopia an exception in the history of European missions, and raises questions of an ecumenical character, which need more attention. Present tension in Ethiopia between Orthodox and Evangelicals, and the tendency to identifiy Christian affiliation with ethnic identity, contribute to make this an urgent matter. The present volume presents the papers delivered at a symposium on these questions held at Lund University in August 1996. They include discussions on the justification of foreign missionary activity in a country already Christian, the impact of the Catholic missionary enterprise of the 16th and 17th centuries, the colonial context of late 19th century missionary activity, the impact of the Europeans on social and intellectual developments, the struggle of the Ethiopian Catholics for an Ethiopian identity in the face of latinization and colonial interests and the question of European influence on structure and leadership in the Evangelical Churches.
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Aasulv Lande is professor of mission and ecumenics at Lund University, where he has devoted himself especially to issues in Buddhist-Christian understanding.
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