Spread of Islam in Ethiopian highlands, linguistic data, archeology, oral traditions.
Much progress has been made over the past decade in the study of Muslim Ethiopia, and with the ongoing work of digitizing, cataloguing and analyzing the local Muslim manuscript tradition, scholars are in a better position than ever before to assess the intellectual strands prevalent among the Muslims of Ethiopia at any given time in history. Our objective for the webinar is threefold: First, we would like to get a clearer picture of what still needs to be done in terms of salvaging and providing access to the Muslim manuscript tradition of Ethiopia (or Ethiopian provenance) — what are the challenges and what would be the promises? Secondly, we hope to engage in a discussion that will assess the intellectual traditions prevalent among Ethiopian Muslims, e.g. legal traditions, doctrinal stances, and other prevalent expressions of Islamic identity, throughout history. Thirdly, we intend to engage in a discussion that will situate the intellectual history of Muslim Ethiopia beyond its core region and discuss how it intersected over the centuries with other prevalent strands and developments, such as the Horn of Africa (including Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia), Southern Arabia (Yemen), as well as East Africa or even the Indian Ocean network. Lastly, we are eager to think together about where the study of Muslim Ethiopia stands within the larger picture of Ethiopian Studies.
The IAS Ethiopian Studies Series is convened by Suzanne Akbari (IAS), Aaron Butts (CUA/IAS), Samantha L. Kelly (Rutgers U/IAS), Sabine Schmidtke (IAS)