Nyambura J Njogore’s ‘Let’s Celebrate the Power of Naming’ in African Women, Religion and Health, honours an essay written by Mercy Oduyoye about her experiences of being a childless African woman. Njogore takes Mercy’s approach of naming the pain and from such experiences creating a life-giving theology, as an example for her own experiences of death and mental illness in her family. Read more
Posts tagged ‘feminist theology’
Continuing my exploration of African theology, and adding the dimension of women’s theologies, my next project is to read several books written by members of The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (previously mentioned as part of 2010/11′s summer project on feminist theology.) Founded by Mercy Amba Ewudziwa Oduyoye, it is a testament to her nurturing of other African women theologians that African Women, Religion and Health: Essays in Honour of Mercy Amba Ewudziwa Oduyoye was published in 2006.
In reading the preface, which contains a short biography of Oduyoye, I was excited to find a student ministry connection of which I was previously unaware. While she was studying at the University College of Ghana, she started a university prayer group which was a forerunner to the University Christian Fellowship, which is an IFES affiliate.
The introduction discusses three aspects of African women’s theologies. Read more
Arthur happened to be sitting next to me as I read the introduction to Tamar’s Tears. He was regularly interrupted from his own reading by my excited exclamations. Here are two notable quotables. Long-time readers of our blog will recognise my own sentiments here, though the authors are much more eloquent than I!
Sometimes [evangelicals] do find ourselves embattled, defending the truth… But not all the time; at times, a more irenic, a more conversational approach is appropriate. … Of course, many evangelicals and many feminist biblical scholars would see this interface [between evangelical and feminist approaches] as a skirmish zone in a key conflict over the nature and use of the Bible. We beg to differ, seeking a more excellent way, a friendlier path through this territory that might prove fruitful for both evangelical and feminist scholars.
What then are the key issues that feminist OT hermeneutics raises for evangelical interpreters? Here are some: is the text as a whole, or are particular texts, inherently oppressive? … How do we wrestle with the historical and cultural particularity of the text/s while maintaining that it is the word of a God of freedom and fidelity, a God of love and justice? What do we do with texts that seem to deny women the dignity we believe is rightly theirs – and which have been used in such ways?
This summer my reading list has been full of prepping for St Andrew’s Hall – books on cross-cultural servanthood, incarnational ministry, cultural intelligence, etc. They’ve been helpful but I must admit I’m thrilled to be almost through the list, because my copy of Tamar’s Tears: Evangelical Engagements with Feminist Old Testament Hermeneutics arrived today and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.
It’s difficult to describe my level of excitement about this book. It’s edited by an Australian for a start, and it features a number of “down under” voices alongside British and American authors. But just think about the title: Feminist Old Testament hermeneutics? Yes please!; From a generous evangelical perspective? Absolutely!
There’s nothing on Jephthah’s daughter in it (do I sense an opening? ;) ) but just about every chapter piques my interest. The final chapter asks, “Can our Hermeneutics be both Evangelical and Feminist? Insights from the Theory and Practice of Theological Interpretation.” Stay tuned folks! I feel a blog series coming on!
There’s been an interesting discussion about the story of Jephthah’s daughter over at Feminism and Religion. I enjoy the opportunity there for people from different places on the feminist spectrum to exchange ideas. I’ve found it particularly fruitful for helping me to understand different hermeneutics i.e. different ways of reading the Bible.
The discussion I was involved in centred around the question of what to do with Hebrews 11. Verse 32 briefly mentions Jephthah in this ‘roll call of faith’. How are we to read this in conjunction with his despicable actions in Judges 11? Read more
I decided it was too ambitious to set myself a summer project these holidays. The summer’s looking crazy and we’ve a fair bit of reading and prep to do for next semester’s cross-cultural study at St Andrew’s Hall. That hasn’t stopped me dipping into one or two interesting feminist books though!
I ordered Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and their Children for the Ridley library when I was thinking about pursuing the idea of mother in the Bible for my MDiv project and have only just now had the time to read it. Read more