Howard University School of Divinity Returns a Sacred Manuscript to Ethiopia

HowardUIn 1993, the Howard University School of Divinity received a donation of a 240-piece collection of religious documents and artifacts relating to Ethiopia from alumnus Andre Tweed. Included among the collection is the Tweed MS 150 manuscript of the Acts of Paul and the Acts of Serabamon that dates from the 14th or 15th century.

The university received a grant to digitize the collection. During this process, the university discovered that the Tweed MS 150 manuscript originally belonged to the Debre Libanos Monastery in Ethiopia. Howard University decided that the manuscript should be returned to its rightful owner.

byronGay L. Byron, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of the New Testament and Early Christianity at Howard University, states that it “has been a long-standing commitment of the School of Divinity to honor the rich heritage and cultural artifacts throughout Africa and particularly Ethiopia. With all due institutional integrity, we wanted to set an example for other schools, museums, and institutions around this country and even throughout the world for what it means to have rare manuscripts actually in their rightful home of origin.”

A delegation from Howard University, recently traveled to Ethiopia to return the manuscript to its place of origin.

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  1. What a generous thing to do.I hope you are still pursuing your work in Ethiopia. I remember your classes with such fondness. I am sure your students at Howard are doing the same.Regards Katherine Nicosia.

  2. This is the right thing to do. We must learn to appreciate not only the provenance of artifacts but also of people. Additionally, the idea that Christianity only has a European origin and exegesis should be returned to where it belongs! I applaud you!

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