What is “O.O.D.E.”?


The Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries (OODE) is an electronic, Orthodox magazine dedicated to the study, outlining, documenting and publishing of the Christian Orthodox faith. The platform is not associated with any Diocese in particular, but it is comprised mostly of private individuals of varying ages and occupations who recognise the primacy of the Orthodox dogma and contribute their time for the study and dissemination of Orthodox materials. OODE receives no funding, while involved fees (internet connection, other) are covered by the individual members. All contributors share their research or work as translators voluntarily motivated by the shared commitment to contribute toward the preservation of the Orthodox faith. 

OODE is an electronic periodical that uploads materials consistently as these become available. The online website currently includes web pages in eight languages: English, Greek, French, German, Italian, Romanian, Turkish and Farsi. The rationale for an Amharic page emanates from our experience and contact with the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo tradition and faith.

The Ethiopian faithful have preserved their indigenous, pre-Chalcedon tradition at least for sixteen centuries since Christianity was embraced officially by the flourishing Aksumite Kingdom. This had existed in proximity to the Christianised Roman Empire, which provided an early conduit for transference of Greek and Syriac influences into Ethiopia. The Church has been historically closer to the Coptic Church with Ethiopian bishops being consecrated in Alexandria, a practice that changed with the enthronement of Patriarch Basilios in 1959. The Church has preserved an eclectic exegetical tradition, the andәmta (አንድምታ), which is attributed to the works of the Nicene and other Early Church Fathers.

While the tradition officially embraces apostolic teachings, the Church developed within a Cushitic-Semitic cultural and political context that influenced how teachers of the faith and the clergy have articulated Church dogmatics and theology and the ways in which the general population has received it over the years.

Historical events that contributed to the weakening of the Church, in combination with a weak training in exegesis among rural clergy, have resulted in what could be described as distortions of apostolic teachings. OODE acknowledges recent efforts by the Association of Theologians in Addis Ababa, the modern theological colleges and also the sub-division of the All Saints’ Association under the Sunday School department of the Church known as the Maḫәbärä Qәdusan (ማኅበረ ቅዱሳን) to revive the faith by returning to Patristic works and basic dogmatics. The vision behind the Amharic page is to support these groups’ efforts to reinvigorate the Orthodox faith among the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo Christians by making available to Amharic speakers the extensive and well-researched resource base of the OODE. The aim is to strengthen the faith of the believers toward achieving the authentic Orthodox experience of purification, enlightenment and theosis (እግዚአብሔርን መምሰል).

Orthodoxy is a global faith and a global message for everyone to assimilate and to embody. Another motivation for this page is to promote an Orthodox attitude of acceptance and understanding to overcome historical, culture-specific biases or ethnocentric sentiments that have kept the Eastern Orthodox and the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo Churches at a distance.

While some of us speak and write Amharic, we have been supported in most translations by native Amharic speakers. To keep in line with the general vision of the OODE, we have avoided using names and we rather use initials. We are especially interested in attracting young Ethiopian theologians to support us in translations, providing them in turn with an opportunity to improve their understanding of early Church Fathers’ works available on the website.  We welcome all expressions of interest.