Course Details

951: The Ethiopia Cross, Gateway to an Ancient Civilization

July 13-14
9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

The Ethiopian (Coptic) cross will be examined not merely as a beautiful "art objet" or architectural element but as a means of gaining insight into Ethiopian history and culture. In Ethiopia, the cross is a integral part of individual and national socio-cultural identity. Because Ethiopia adopted the Abrahamic faith in the 4th century of our era, its crosses have evolved over time into 300 unique designs, showing influences from Judaism, pre-Christian worship, Buddhism, and animal/vegetal forms. Cross designs vary from region to region and materials range from grass to gold. Audio-visual material will consist of slides, videos and the lecturer's own cross collection. THIS IN-PERSON COURSE IS BEING RECORDED FOR JULY SHORTS REGISTRANTS.

Class Type: Lecture and Discussion

Class Format: In-Person

Hours of Reading: No reading

Study Group Leader(s):

Lisa Harper

During the 1980's, Lisa Harper worked for several international organizations in Ethiopia. To escape from the political and economic turmoil of the time, she collected Ethiopian crosses. Many crosses were on the market because the Ethiopian ruling junta had aligned itself with the Soviet Union and had banned religious expression.