Thursday, February 2, 2012

Which Comes First: Dialog or Colloquy?

I use the term "dialog" to refer to the kind of conversation between two or more people/parties who have clearly recognizable difference (at least prior to discussion) over the subject matter of their conversation. Whereas the kind of conversation between two or more people who are like-minded with respect to the subject matter of their conversation I want to label as "colloquy". So, taken in this sense, which should come first: dialog or colloquy? The question is still vague. Let me try to make it clearer.

Let's say there is one issue and there are two major groups who have their stake in it, each of which comprises a number of subgroups. If that single same issue is to be discussed amongst these groups and subgroups, what kind of procedure should be established such that the conversations amongst them become effective? Should a dialog amongst the major groups be held first and then a colloquy amongst the subgroups of each major groups? Or, should the like-minded subgroups discuss first and have clear position with respect to the issue, so that when the major group conducts dialog with another major group it can genuinely and legitimately represent the position of its subgroups? 

Earlier this month, we heard the news of Addis Ababa hosting a 9th International Meeting of a Joint Commission between Roman Catholic Church and the so-called "Oriental" Orthodox Tewahedo Churches. However, did members of the "Oriental" Orthodox Tewahedo Churches meet to discuss over the issues that were to be discussed in the Joint Commission? What is going on? We should raise this question because at stake is here nothing less than OUR FAITH!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

hopeful development

There seems to be a hopeful development with regard to bringing together the leaders of our Church and thereby to maintaining her administrative unity. As we quietly pray that the effort being made by honest negotiators may become successful, I think we should also wisely prepare ourselves for all that which such a reconciliation would entail...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Admittedly: “የወሬ የለውም ፍሬ!” And so shall we all shut up our mouths. Keep quiet! ጸጥ፣ ረጭ! በቃ? One may ask however: What is the purpose of our mouth then? To which a simple answer may suggest itself: just to let food and drink pass through. But is this the true sense of the saying? Of course not.

What then do they mean when they say: “የወሬ የለውም ፍሬ”? It is quite simple. To be sure, by “ወሬ” they do not mean any talk whatsoever; rather, they seem to refer to a specific kind of talk: to an “idle talk” (የሥራ-ፈት፣ ሥረ-አስፈች ወሬ!). For, in so far as the matter under discussion is either not known at all or deliberately covered over in idle talk, there can be no fruit to be obtained from it (ፍሬ የለውም). It indeed is doomed even from the get go to remain ineffective . What can idle talk help us gain other than killing our precious time?

Let’s therefore leave such kind of ineffective and fruitless talk behind and engage in an effective and fruitful kind of talk, in a kind of genuine discourse I am trying to evoke here (call it dialogue, colloquy or whatever), in a conversation, the first condition of which is ensuring that the other person is with us, all the more so as we perceive ourselves to be members of the one and same Tewahedo family.

Monday, February 1, 2010

dialogue, even better, colloquy

How to characterize the type of discussion between members of the same family? I know that there is much competition and controversy going on… And I am aware that some people of good will are very much worried about it; they sure are trying to do something about it… In their list of possible solutions for the problems, such people put “dialogue” at the very top… I appreciate their insights and would even like to join in their efforts to persistently call for a break with monologue, a monologue, that is, where everyone wants to speak and to listen to him/herself.

Yet, a fine nuance here: I believe the nature of conversation should not be perceived as an encounter, a confrontation, a face-off (ግጥሚያ፣ ፍልሚያ፣ ፍጥጫ)… After all, we are members of the same family. (Aren’t we? ረ በቤተክርስቲያን አምላክ! ረ በኢትዮጵያ አምላክ! ረ በወላዲተ-አምላክ!) We walk under the same sun, within the same horizon. Or so do I believe… Hence my preference to speak of "colloquy" (የእስ-በስ ውይይት) over "dialogue" (የእስ-ከሌላ ውይይት)…

With this, however, I am not undermining the difference of opinions… I am only insisting that we might discuss our differences in a less confrontational manner...

Above all, every one of us must in fact be reminded as to the nature and position of the sun under whose light we are walking.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mia vs. Monos

A Little Conceptual Clarification

The words “mia” and “monos” are Greek words. Apparently, they both mean “one.” Yet, we have to understand the subtle nuance each one carries with it. Whereas the word “monos” conotes: “single, alone, on one's own, lonely, lone (ነጠላ),” the word “mia” implies “unity (ውሕደት)” (of pairs), like when you say "mia pitzama" you mean "a pair of pyjamas."