Full text
Walda Heywat (Wäldä Hewat, Mitku), Sumner, Claude. Hatata [II] (~1692)
1976, In Ethiopian Philosophy, Vol. 2. Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa University Press
Added by: Sara Peppe, Contributed by: Jonathan Egid
Publisher’s Note:

Translating to 'an investigation', this is the second of two 17th century ethical and rational treatises from present-day Ethiopia. Walda Heywat (Wäldä Hewat) continued the work of his mentor, Zera Yacob (Zär'a Ya'eqob, Wärqe), and expanded on it, turning it into more of a practical guide. Hatata (II) is considered to be more in line with more traditional views in its approach to topics such as marriage and abortion. However, where as Zara Yacob's ideas were relatively individualistic, Walda Heywat was particularly known for his social ethics. In his writing, he states, "God did not create me only for myself, but placed me in the midst of other created [men] who are equal to me." He also adds, “Man cannot come to existence, grow and serve by himself without the help of other men."

Comment: Covering themes such as abortion, marriage, religion and morality this text represents a way to develop further knowledge of the Ethiopian philosophy in the 1600s. Also, it shows how some philosophical ideas developed from Zera Yacob to Walda Heywat. It may therefore be used as a supplemental text to the previous Hatata in offering an introduction to Ethiopian philosophy. As with the first Hatata, it may also be useful as a tool to explore enlightenment ideals as they predated work by European philosophers, such as Descartes and John Locke.

Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share by Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *