PANEL 3.02

Proselytisation, Education and Conversion

James Quirin , Fisk University, USA;
Shalva Weil , Hebrew University of Jerusalem; SOSTEJE-Society for the Study of Ethiopian Jewry, Israel.

The panel will discuss religious conversion between different religions and between different streams of the same major religion in Ethiopia, in the past or nowadays. One of the main issues will be the processes of installation and development of movements of proselytisation among groups of different sizes and conditions in Ethiopia and how these movements reach, or do not reach, their ultimate objective of conversion. In addition, the panel will discuss conversion to different streams of the same religion, as is the case with the move from Orthodox Christianity to more messianic forms of Christianity, such as Pentecostalism, or from Sufi mystical Islam to reformist movements labelled as "Wuhabi" or "Salafi". Another phenomenon the panel will take note of is "double conversion", as in the case of some Beta Israel, who in the past converted to Christianity and today are in the process of re-converting to a new form of Judaism; these Beta Israel are called "Felesmura”.
The panel will also attract papers on comparative analyses of attitudes and approaches regarding education, such as the issue of “industrial education,” as advocated by Booker T. Washington, versus “literary education,” as advocated by W.E.B. Du Bois, both vis-à-vis the education of blacks in the United States. Similarly, some western Jews advocated a type of “industrial” or manual education for the Beta Israel, and others focused on “literary” education approaches.
The panel will be trans-disciplinary, attracting papers from history, anthropology, religious studies, sociology and other disciplines. Each participant will present a paper and the general discussion will embrace the specific topics as well as the general themes emerging out of all the papers.

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Holy water sites: Spaces of religious confluence or conversion?


LIS Daniel

Basel and the Beta Israel 1830-1865. Protestant Mission and Jewish Identity in Ethiopia


PAULAU Stanislau

A Mission between Witness and Proselytism: Anglican Mission Paradigm in Orthodox Ethiopia of the First Half of the 19th Century



The Head Versus the Hand: Comparative Approaches to the Education of African Americans and the Beta Israel, 1865-1936


ROENNE Finn Aaseboe

Conversion and proselytisation in Southern Ethiopia – a historical and comparative perspective


WEIL Shalva

Double conversion among the “felesmura”


Authors are advised to submit their paper to the Organizing Committee
before September 30, 2012

Papers will be published as pre-proceedings on the website, under each panel section.

Papers should be limited to ca. 5000 words or 30,000 signs (including spaces).

Papers have to be submitted online, by uploading under each panel section (go to the page of the panel in which your paper is selected and upload your text).

Papers can also be sent to the Organizing Committee ( with specification of panel number.

Submitted papers will be directly transmitted to the panel organizers and published online after approval by the panel organizers.

Guidelines to authors for formatting papers:

Transilteration systems for Ethiosemitic languages

submit your paper (.doc / .odt / .pdf) *