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THE VOICE OF THE GWAŇŇ ABOUT THE “MONASTERY” OF DIMA GIYORGIS [Abstract ID: 0805-18]
The Monastery of Dima Giyorgis in Bǝčäna, Goǧǧam, was founded by Abba Täkäśtä Bǝrhan, a disciple of Abba Anoreyos, the Elder. It was an important national center of spiritual life and higher education for a very long time. Its significance as such waned gradually beginning with the nationwide assault on Ethiopian Christianity by the forces of Aḥmad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Ġazī (Graňň) in the 16th century, and by Italian Facists in the 1930s. It is now a commune with a peculiar system of self-rule of the indigenous people, the center becoming a district or a settlement in which native clergy and laity live as a community supported by the monastery’s land grants. According to tradition, the change was triggered by the devastating assault of Aḥmad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Ġazī (Graňň). It is recorded that when the era of Graňň was over, and the monks came back from exile, they decide the life of coenobitism be abandoned. The article reviews the history of the monastery and presents the Amharic text of its new constitution.