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Article

Concept of Genetic Transmission of the ‘Essence of Salvation’ in Ethiopian Church and its Reminiscence in Islam

Scrinium. 2017. No. 13.
Frantsouzoff S.

The 68th chapter of the Ethiopian dynastic treatise Kəbrä nägäśt ‘the Nobility of the Kings’ is of considerable interest due to the occurrence of the term mädḫänit interpreted either as ‘Savior’ (in the feminine!) or as ‘Salvation’. The contents of that chapter is focused on a specific ‘essence of Salvation’ (‘ənqwä baḥrəy, literally ‘mother-of-pearl’) created ‘in the abdomen of Adam’ and transmitted from generation to generation. It should be noted that in medieval Ethiopian Christian theology the term baḥrəy ‘pearl’ denoted the Second Hypostasis represented in the unity of His. A parallel to such a concept of ‘Salvation’ transfer was found in Islamic tradition, viz. in legends about the emission of light from ‘Abdallāh, Muḥammad’s father, which gave evidence of his engagement in procreation of a future prophet. Similar ideas appeared to influence the early Shī‘ite doctrine.