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INVENTED INTERCONNECTIONS: GÄBRÄ MÄNFÄS QƎDDUS, PETER HEYLING, AND CONTESTED IDENTITIES WITHIN ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIANITY [Abstract ID: 1302-06]
Gäbrä Mänfäs Qǝddus and Peter Heyling are figures of the utmost symbolical importance. As probably no one else, they embody two major streams in Ethiopian Christianity – Orthodoxy and Protestantism. While Egyptian Gäbrä Mänfäs Qǝddus, one of the most venerated saints of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, represents the monastic ideal and is known as „the head of the hermits“ (rǝᵓǝsä baḥtawǝyan), German Peter Heyling is often considered to be the founding father of the Protestant movement in Ethiopia and hence an adversary of traditional Orthodox piety. Either of these foreigners could be treated as an example of how global networks contributed to the making of Ethiopian Christianity, there is, however, another aspect which deserves closer attention: Interestingly enough, there had been attempts to identify Gäbrä Mänfäs Qǝddus with Peter Heyling, suggesting that they were, in fact, the same person. The paper analyzes the genealogy of this invented interconnection between Egyptian ascetic and German missionary and evaluates its role in shaping confessional identities within Ethiopian Christianity.