Transferred use of the name given to the first church of this type, after Psalm 68 verse 31 (see quotation 1989 at sense A).
A.adjectiveOf or pertaining to those black churches which, towards the end of the 19th century, broke away from white-dominated churches and formed separatist churches in a spirit of black nationalism.See also Order of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Church of South Africa was founded in 1892 as a breakaway from the Anglican and Methodist Churches. Some of its members were later absorbed into the American Methodist Episcopal Church (see AME) and the Order of Ethiopia, while others remained independent.
1903F.B. Bridgman inIlanga 17 July 4In the seven years since the movement became prominent it has gained a membership of about 25,000. Compared with the slow, laborious growth of Mission Churches.., this large number is a doubtful compliment to the Ethiopian type of Christianity.
1903E. NuttallPrivate Circular (Wesleyan Methodist Church of S. Afr.)Transfer of Members to or from A.M.E. Church and Ethiopian Associations...Consideration was given to the question, raised by the Native Synods, as to the attitude we are to assume towards the various movements known as African Episcopal and Ethiopian.
1906Question of Colour 253The Ethiopian Movement is a remarkable one, and has gained a great hold upon the natives of South Africa. The members believe that they are descendants of the Ethiopians.
1915J. HastingsEncycl. of Relig. & EthicsVIII. 736S. Africa...The racial factor is especially in evidence in the ‘Ethiopian Movement’, composed of groups of congregations who in 1892 formally seceded from their missionary connections.
1921S. Afr. 2 Nov. 195Greytown, Natal, has been agitated recently by the Ethiopian movement.
1923G.H. NichollsBayete! 52God has guided me in all I have done, and the result is the establishment of the Ethiopian Church under the banner bearing the words — ‘Africa for the Africans’.
1948B.G.M. SundklerBantu Prophets 53We shall distinguish between two main types of independent Bantu Churches. I propose to call them the ‘Ethiopian’ type and the ‘Zionist’ type.
1963P. HinchliffAnglican Church 207The natural nationalism which resulted made them regret the fact that most of the Churches were ‘white’ and were governed by white officials. The Ethiopian movement..has produced literally thousands of purely African splinter sects.
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 111Whites were quick to accuse the ‘Ethiopian preachers’ of anti-White racialism, subversion, and responsibility for the political unrest among Africans in Natal.
1988G. Willoughby inInside S. Afr. Dec. 33My father was a priest of the indigenous Ethiopian church and from him I learnt to trust to my ancestors.
1988Spiegel & Boonzaier inBoonzaier & SharpS. Afr. Keywords 52The ‘Ethiopian’ churches began as a breakaway from the established mission churches; they have an all-black leadership, but retain the basic Christian teachings.
1989Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 285With 20 followers he founded the Ethiopian Church — so called because he interpreted the biblical prophecy, ‘that Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God’, as referring [to] Africans.
1990S. Afr. Panorama Nov.–Dec. 4Present-day examples of Ethiopian churches are the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church of Africa, the Zulu Congregational Church and the Bantu Methodist Church.
1911Encycl. Brit.XVIII. 593Each bishop [in South Africa] now deals with the Ethiopians in his own diocese.
1923G.H. NichollsBayete! 93Behind them walked a long line of surpliced Ethiopians...The Ethiopians took up their station standing in the rear of the line of chairs, and in front of the altar.
1948B.G.M. SundklerBantu Prophets 53As Ethiopians I classify such independent Bantu Churches as have (a) seceded from White Mission Churches chiefly on racial grounds, or (b) other Bantu Churches seceding from the Bantu leaders classified under (a).
1948B.G.M. SundklerBantu Prophets 56To both Ethiopians and Zionists the name of the Church has a special significance. It contains the charter of the Church.
1962M. Brandel-SyrierBlack Woman 235Not so anti-European as the Ethiopians.
1976West & MorrisAbantu 170These churches are without exception under African control, with an all-African membership, and they can be divided into two categories: the ‘Ethiopians’ and the ‘Zionists’.
1906Daily Chron. (U.K.) 13 Feb. 5The rising in Natal is now officially declared..to be the result of the teaching of Ethiopianism, namely ‘South Africa for the Black races’.
1910J. BuchanPrester John 131It is what they call ‘Ethiopianism’, and American negroes are the chief apostles.
1923G.H. NichollsBayete! 153I believe his Ethiopianism is political.
1936Times Lit. Suppl. (U.K.) 28 Mar. 252So-called Ethiopianism appears to have been started in South Africa by various disgruntled native ministers of the Gospel.
1968P. HinchliffAnglican Church 93Ethiopianism seemed to be political because it stood for a rejection of white guidance and control.
1978T.R.H. DavenportS. Afr.: Mod. Hist. 154Ethiopianism..in Natal and the O.R.C...became a synonym for irresponsible black nationalism in official eyes.
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 182Ethiopianist ideas appealed strongly to urban workers...In Natal Ethiopianist preachers were accused of fomenting rebellion...Middle-class separatists, called ‘Ethiopianists’, were in general too intent upon cultural Westernization..to create a strong church-based opposition movement.
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 432Ethiopianism, In South Africa, a separatist or independent African Christian movement based on an ideology of pan-African Christian unity and political and religious independence.
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 161Another form of African opposition that cannot easily be analysed in class terms was Ethiopianism. African independent churches in South Africa date back to the 1880s when the Thembu Church was founded in the Transkei.
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