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The project consists of ethnographic and qualitative research with men, women and clergy in Ethiopia, Eritrea and the UK to investigate the ways in which religious beliefs and the interventions and discourses of the clergy influence the experience of domestic violence. One of the main aims of the project is to build upon the existing evidence base on the intersection of religious beliefs, human psychology and intimate partner behaviour, which is currently a highly under-theorised field that is dominated by the experience of industrialised societies. 

The project also incorporates investigations involving migrant communities in the UK and service providers to identify the degree to which the domestic violence sector, migrant community organisations and religious stakeholders in the UK recognise the importance of and engage with religio-cultural parameters and feel equipped to respond to victims and perpetrators. Outputs from these research activities, including working papers, policy briefs and scholarly publications, are listed below. 

Our Outputs 

[ትምህርተ ሕይወት] የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ካህናት እምነትን፣ ጋብቻን እና በጋብቻ ውስጥ የሚኖር ጥቃትን በተመለከተ የሚያስተምሩት ትምህርት እና ተግባራቸው:- በትግራይ ክልል በአክሱም ያለው ሁኔታ (ከጦርነቱ በፊት)

ጸሐፊ፡ ዶ/ር ሮሚና ኢስትራቲ (Dr Romina Istratii)

ተርጓሚዎች፡ ኤልያስ ገብረሥላሴ (Elias Gebrselassie) እና ፍሬሰንበት ገ/ዮሐንስ

June 2021 (ሰኔ 2013)

የትግበራ ጽሑፉ ከዚህ ቀደም በሰሜን ኢትዮጵያ በትግራይ በሚገኙ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ማኅበረሰብ ዘንድ በጋብቻ ውስጥ ያለ ጥቃትን በተመለከተ በተሠራ የጥናት ምርምር ላይ የተመረኮዘ ነው፡፡ ጥናቱ የምእመናንን ሕይወት፣ በጾታዊ መመዘኛዎች እና ልማዶች መካከል ያለውን ግንኙነት እና በዚህ ሃይማኖተኛ ማኅበረሰብ ውስጥ በጋብቻ ውስጥ የሚኖር ጥቃት በመቀጠሉ እና በመገታቱ መካከል ያለውን ውስብስብ ግንኙነት ከመረዳት አንጻር የእምነትን እና የሃይማኖት ልምምድ ያላቸውን ወሳኝነት አሳይቷል፡፡ እምነት የጥቃት ፈጻሚነትን ጠባይ እና በጋብቻ ውስጥ ከሚኖር ጥቃት ጋር በተያያዘ ያሉ ልማዶችን ለመከላከል ወይም ለማስቆም ውስብስብ በሆነ መንገድ ለንጽጽር በቀረበበት ሁኔታ ጥናቱ በነገረ መለኮት እና ባሕላዊ አረዳድ መካከል ያለውን ወሳኝ የሆነ ውጥረት ገልጧል፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያን ቀሳውስትና የነገረ መለኮት ሊቃውንት፣ የመንግሥት አካላት እና መንግሥታዊ ያልሆኑ የቤት ውስጥ ጥቃት መከላከል  አገልግሎት ሰጪዎች እምነትና የሃይማኖት ልምምድ በምእመናን የጋብቻ ሕይወት ውስጥ ያላቸውን ውስብስብ ሚና፣ በጋብቻ ውስጥ የሚኖር ጥልን ለማስታረቅ ቀሳውስት የሚከተሉት መንገድን በተመለከተ እና ችግሩን ለመቅረፍ ነገረ መለኮትና የኖላዊነት አገልግሎት እንዴት በአግባቡ ጥቅም ላይ መዋል እንደሚችሉ ለማስገንዘብ በሚደረግ ጥረት ይሄ የጽሑፍ ሥራ የዚህን የተጠናቀቀ የጥናት ውጤት ዋና ዋና ግኝቶች ለብዙሀኑ ለማድረስ ያልማል፡፡

Discourses and Practices of Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo Clergy Regarding Faith, Marriage and Spousal Abuse: The Case of Aksum in Tigray Region (prior the war)

Dr Romina Istratii

June 2021

The current working paper is informed by previous ethnographic investigations of conjugal abuse in the Ethiopian Orthodox community in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. The research evidenced the importance of religious beliefs and experience in understanding the life of the laity, intersections with gender parameters and norms, and complex associations with the continuation and deterrence of conjugal abuse in this religious society. The study revealed important tensions between theological and folklore understandings, with ‘faith’ being juxtaposed in complex ways to ‘culture’ to preserve or discontinue pernicious behaviour and norms associated with conjugal abuse. The current working paper aims to improve understanding among Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo Church clergy and theologians, state agents, and non-governmental domestic violence stakeholders about the complex role of religious beliefs and experience in the married lives of the laity, about the clergy’s approaches to mediation in marital conflict, and to suggest how theology and pastoral interventions may be appropriately engaged in alleviating the problem.

War and domestic violence: A rapid scoping of the literature to understand the relationship and to inform responses in the Tigray humanitarian crisis

Dr Romina Istratii

April 2021

Unexpectedly, on 4 November 2020 (four days after the official start date of project dldl/ድልድል), a conflict erupted in Tigray region. The eruption of the war raised an urgent need to pay attention to violence experienced in political conflict and to war trauma and to understand the implications for domestic life and family relations in the conflict-affected communities, as well as identify linkages with religio-cultural parameters where these have been identified. The working paper has a two-fold aim: to deepen the analysis of domestic violence in conflict-ridden Tigray as part of the ongoing work that we do as project dldl/ድልድል, and to inform current humanitarian responses in the region so that they account for context-specific needs and the religio-cultural conditions of the people.

ለኦርቶዶክስ ጋብቻ መመሪያ፣ የቅዱስ ዮሐንስ አፈወርቅ ሰባት ስብከቶች ስለ ወንድ እና ሴት፡የትዳር ሕይወትና የትዳር ላይ ጥቃት

ጸሐፊ፡ ዶ/ር ሮሚና ኢስትራቲ (Dr Romina Istratii)

ተርጓሚዎች፡ ኤልያስ ገብረሥላሴ (Elias Gebrselassie) እና ፍሬሰንበት ገ/ዮሐንስ አድሃኖም (Fresenbet Gebreyohanns Adhanom)

March  2021 (ጥር 2013)

ይህ ጥናታዊ ጽሑፍ ከቅዱስ ዮሐንስ አፈወርቅ ሰባት ስብከቶች የተውጣጣ ሲሆን፤ በወንድ እና ሴት የጋብቻ ሕይወት ላይ ያጠነጥናል፡፡ ስብከቶቹንም በምልከታ እና ልምድ በዳበረ ኦርቶዶክሳዊ አስተሳሰብ (ፍሮኒማ) ለመመልከት ሙከራ ተደርጓል፡፡ ዓላማውም የቤተክርስቲያን አባቶች አስተምህሮን ለምዕመናን ነባራዊ ሁኔታዎች የበለጠ በማቅረብ ስለ ኦርቶዶክሳዊ እምነት ያላቸውን አረዳድ ከፍ ማድረግ ነው፡፡ የቅዱስ ዮሐንስ አፈወርቅ ትምህርቶች ጠንካራ የሆነ ባህላዊ መሠረት ባላቸው የኦርቶዶክስ ማኅበረሰቦች ውስጥ ከሴቶች እና ትዳር ጋር ተያይዞ ያለውን መጥፎ ልማድ ለመቅረፍ ወሳኝ መሆኑን፡፡

Guidelines for an Orthodox Marriage: St John Chrysostom’s commentaries on man-woman relations, marriage and conjugal abuse

Dr Romina Istratii

March 2021

This paper is dedicated to St John Chrysostom’s commentaries regarding man-woman relations in marriage and the conjugal relationship as they emerge from seven homilies. An attempt is made to provide a reading of these homilies through the Orthodox phronema understood here as the experience-based historical conscience of the Church. The aim is to bring the works of the Church Fathers closer to the conditions of the Orthodox faithful and improve their awareness of the Orthodox faith. It is our belief that Chrysostom’s commentaries in particular can become an important resource for the alleviation of pernicious attitudes regarding women and marriage associated with tradition-oriented Orthodox communities.