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Africanwomenculture: THEOLOGY


Africanwomenculture: THEOLOGY
As the analysis of phenomenon of women's quest for liberation developed, it became clear that religion was one of the main sources of the denigration and marginalization of women from the exercise of power and of autonomy. Stanton's women's Bible resurfaced and the cry went up among churches that women are rewriting the Bible. Women from other faith communities re-read their scriptures and commented in writing. On the Christian theological scene. Mary Daly's, The Church and the Second Sex shook the ramparts of church and theology. She followed it with Beyond God the Father in which she argued that if God is made then the male must be God and since this has to be resisted, the male language about God has to go. My response was, God is male does not make the human male God. Maybe it comes out of my orientation toward non-gender specific pronouns and the Creator God as a woman in some parts of Africa.

Many more women wrote, Caucasian, Christian, Jewish and Moslem. Soon there was the generic name Feminist Theology, later to be diversified with the rise of Womanist and Mujerista Theologies. Asian women produced their theologies and so did African women and Latin American women. First this was done in the mode of a general theology of liberation within the Ecumenical Association of Theologians until the Association too proved to be non-gender sensitive. Women realized that if they do not say, "we are here" the men will continue to act if women were absent.

In Africa gender became a theological issue when the Circle asserted that the gender parameter in African culture and African religions have crucial effects on women's lives and on how womanhood is viewed by Africans. They researched the names given to baby boys and baby girls, rites related to the birth of boys and that of girls and all other rites of passage. They examined everyday language and especially proverbs, myths and legends and found them seeped in a gender ideology.

They examined daily relationships in marriage, inheritance laws and women's leadership and roles in the wider society as in the church. Gender as the power, priority and preference of biological male over the biological female was evident everywhere. The women pointed out that it is not only biblical hermeneutics that needed attention but most immediately cultural hermeneutics as Africans are in crisis about their relationships to the inherent ways of doing and thinking. Especially when it is in conflict with modernization and against the notion that culture is dynamic and an open circuit. Gender in biblical studies took the form of re-reading, and the hermeneutics of suspicion and resistance prevailed.

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