Ackermann, Denise M. “The Role of Women in the Church - Certain Practical Theological Perspectives.” In Sexism and Feminism in Theological Perspective, 61–88. Pretoria: University of South Africa, 1984.
Amoah, Elizabeth, and Mercy A. Oduyoye. “The Christ for African Woman.” In With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology - Reflections from the Women’s Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians., edited by V. M. M. Fabella and Mercy A. Oduyoye, 35–46. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1988.
AbstractThe main question of this article is how the negotiations on church space enable us to better understand the relationship between pastors and shepherds, two groups of church workers in the Malagasy Lutheran Church and the so-called awakening movement (fifohazana). This is investigated through three characteristics of place: the historical development, the relationship between the two groups and their identity focusing on ritual and gender. The author challenges the hierarchical thinking which seems to be inherent in the relationship between the two groups, and calls into attention how women
are disempowered in the church space related to pastoral ministry while, at the same time, being empowered as shepherds.
Büchner, Elsje. “Laat ander die praatwerk doen.” Studia historiae ecclesiasticae 34 (April 2008): 235–64.
AbstractStories of the calling of female ministers in the Dutch Reformed Church played out over a period of approximately 107 years. The folk mother discourse, which silenced women's voices in public, developed in the Afrikaner community during this period. It is evident that female ministers in the Dutch Reformed Church have generally not participated actively in the debate on the admission of women to specific offices. Most of the contributors to this study experience some discomfort with matters of gender and feminism. As in the folk mother discourse, they leave the talking to others. In this article the development of the folk mother discourse is examined and female ministers are asked to examine their experiences in this regard. The central question is: What can the church do to help women take co-responsibility in the gender debate.
Beer, S. de, and J. Müller. “Using Stories to Assist Storytelling in a Pastoral Setting : Four Female Pastors in Dialogue with Mary Magdalene.” HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 65, no. 1 (2009): 76–80.
AbstractThe article considers the story of Mary Magdalene in Jn 20:11-18 as a healing story from the perspective of transformative narrative theory and retells the story of her encounter with the resurrected Jesus using the Gospel of Mary as a source of further illumination insofar as it develops narrative ideas within the same tradition. It also reports on the deliberation of a small group of female pastors of the Netherdutch Reformed Church of Africa who met several times to reflect on the story of Mary Magdalene and their own spirituality stories.--C.R.M. Abstract Number: NTA54-2010-3-1718
Botha, Nico. “Towards the En-Gendering of Missiology: The Life-Narrative of Mina Tembeka Soga.” Missionalia 31, no. 1 (April 2003): 105–16.
AbstractTheology, in both the academy and the church, is in need of being engendered. Haddad (1997:1) defined the project of engendering theology as "a need to ensure that all voices are heard - particularly the whispering and silent voices." This article seeks to amplify the voice of Mina Tembeka Soga (1893-1989), a South African woman who contributed tremendously in the diverse areas of education, social work, and the church over an' extended period of time.
Crumbley, Deidre H. “Sanctified Saints -- Impure Prophetesses: A Cross-Cultural Study of Gender and Power in Two Afro-Christian Spirit-Privileging Churches.” In The Spirit in the World: Emerging Pentecostal Theologies in Global Contexts, edited by Veli-Matti Karkkainen, 115–34. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009.
AbstractThis paper gives a general view of the role played by women in African instituted churches. It touches several roles of women in different instituted churches keeping in mind that there are so many African instituted churches some will be used to represent the general role played by women. The paper also will explain how women were viewed in the Old Testament, New Testament and Letters of St. Paul. This will give a background as to how women have been prominent in the churches throughout history. Interviews have also been conducted on the churches that could not be available this was to find out the general role played by women. The paper will centre its emphasis on the role of women in the African instituted churches, it will also touch some impediments that are facing women in some independent churches such as the Nomiya Luo Church in Kenya. This church that tries to bar off women from participation. This is caused by men's attitude towards women who are looked at as inferior, incapable and are in perpetual pollution due to their nature of being biologically females.
Domeris, W. R. “Biblical Perspectives on the Role of Women.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 55 (1986): 58–61.
AbstractThe role of women is examined with reference to OT history, the NT (Jesus' followers, Paul), church hierarchy, soteriology, and the present. Until women share equally with men in church leadership, the newness of life brought about by Jesus will be marred.--D.J.H. Abstract Number: NTA31-1987-2-816
Duncan, G. A. “South African Presbyterian Women in Leadership in Ministry (1973–2018).” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 75, no. 1 (2019).
Edet, Rosemary, and Bette Ekaya. “Church Woman of Africa: A Theological Community.” In With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology - Reflections from the Women’s Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians., edited by V. M. M. Fabella and Mercy A. Oduyoye, 3–13. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1988.
Enyinnaya, John O. “Biblical and Theological Concerns on Gender Issues in Leadership.” In Leadership in Africa: Challenges for Theological Education, edited by Emiola Nihinlola, Thomas A. Oduro, and Deji Ayegboyin, 320–27. Ibadan: West African Association of Theological Institutions, 2012.
AbstractThis paper attempts an examination of some biblical passages and theological arguments used to disenfranchise women from leadership in the church. It concludes that such use of those texts is guilty of taking the passages out of context. On the contrary, it is discovered that what the Bible appears to overwhelmingly present is the notion of complementarity of both male and female in the work of the community of God.
Froschauer, Ursula. “South African Women Ministers’ Experiences of Gender Discrimination in the Lutheran Church: A Discourse Analysis.” Feminist Theology 22, no. 2 (January 2014): 133–43.
AbstractThe aim of this research study was to uncover women ministers’ experiences of gender discrimination in the Lutheran Church by using a discourse analysis. Three female participants, who are involved in ministry in the Lutheran Church in South Africa, were interviewed about their experiences and perceptions of gender discrimination. The resultant texts were analysed using Parker’s (2005) steps to discourse analytic reading. The discourses that were discovered indicate that power struggles are prevalent in the context of gender discrimination. The extent to which an individual opposes gender discrimination is informed by contextual, educational and historical factors. In addition to this, gender discrimination within the church is easily legitimized – to a large extent by women – through discourses, such as biblical texts.
Gaitskell, Deborah. “Hot Meetings and Hard Kraals: African Biblewomen in Transvaal Methodism, 1924-60.” Journal of Religion in Africa 30, no. 3 (August 2000): 277.
AbstractWhereas women's prayer groups are a well-known strength of African Christianity in Southern Africa, the evangelistic and pastoral contribution of individual women who were not clergy wives has been under-appreciated. Echoing models from Victorian London and Indian missions, Methodism in South Africa evolved an authorised, paid form of female lay ministry via middle-aged black Biblewomen sponsored and overseen by white Women's Auxiliary groups. The first appointee in the Transvaal and Swaziland District wrote comparatively full reports of emotionally 'hot' revival meetings. In 'hard' kraals she encountered hostility in the form of patriarchal control of women and an unusual proliferation of rival indigenous spirits. Her successors found male drinking an even greater obstacle to a sympathetic hearing. In urban townships along the Witwatersrand, Biblewomen work was less pioneering and more routinised, providing pastoral support to local churches via sick-visiting and following up lapsed members. From 1945-59, some Biblewomen were trained at Lovedale Bible School. The period after 1960 deserves separate exploration. In 1997, a new start was made with a national, autonomous Biblcwomen ministry, though many women, black and white, regretted severing their personal and organisational links of mutual dependence.
Getui, Mary N. “Women’s Priesthood in Relation to Nature.” In Groaning in Faith: African Women in the Household, edited by Misimbi R. A. Kanyoro and N. J. Njoroge, 31–39. Nairobi: Acton Publishers, 1996.
Jonck, Petronella, Anda Le Roux, and Lizette Hoffman. “’n Kwantitatiewe ondersoek na die invloed van enkele demografiese veranderlikes wat verband hou met vroulike ampsdraers.” In die Skriflig 47, no. 1 (2013).
AbstractHierdie artikel ondersoek lidmate se houding teenoor vroulike ampsdraers. Vir die doel van hierdie navorsingsprojek is die volgende navorsingsvraag geformuleer: Wat is kerklidmate se houding teenoor vroue as ampsdraers in die gemeente? Hierdie navorsingsvraag is met behulp van die volgende hipotese ondersoek: Daar is statisties-beduidende verskille tussen kerklidmate se houding teenoor vroulike ampsdraers en ’n aantal demografiese veranderlikes soos die geografiese ligging, die geslag, die huwelikstatus en die ouderdom. ’n Totaal van 1052 respondente bestaande uit 326 (31%) lidmate van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerkfamilie, 311 (29%) lidmate van die Christelike Herlewingskerk, 217 (21%) lidmate van die Gereformeerde Kerk en 198 (19%) lidmate van die Rooms-Katolieke Kerk is by die ondersoek betrek. Data is met behulp van ’n biografiese vraelys, asook die Petro Jonck Houding teenoor Vroulike Ampsdraers-vraelys ingesamel. Meerveranderlike variansie-ontledings is toegepas. Satistiese analise het getoon dat kerklidmate deurgaans ’n positiewe houding aangaande vroulike ampsdraers aanneem. Verder is gevind dat die geslag, die huwelikstatus en die geografiese ligging die grootste invloed op kerklidmate se houding ten opsigte van vroulike ampsdraers uitgeoefen het. Die opleidingsvlak het geen statisties-beduidende invloed op lidmate se houding teenoor vroulike ampsdraers uitgeoefen nie.
This article investigates the attitude of church members towards clergywomen. For the purpose of this research project, the following research question has been formulated: What is church members’ attitude towards clergywomen in the congregation? This research question was explored by means of the following hypothesis: There are statistically significant differences between church members’ attitude towards clergywomen and a number of demographic variables such as geographic location, gender, marital status and age. A total of 1052 respondents that included 326 (31%) members of the Dutch Reformed Church family, 311 (29%) members of the Christian Revival Church, 217 (21%) members of the Reformed Church and 198 (19%) members of the Roman Catholic Church were involved. Data were gathered by means of a biographic questionnaire and the Petro Jonck Attitude towards Female Office-bearers Questionnaire. Multivariate analysis of variance was applied. A statistical analysis indicated that church members assume a positive attitude with regard to female office-bearers. Furthermore, it was concluded that gender, marital status and geographic location exerted the greatest influence on the dependent variable (attitude towards clergywomen) while, academic qualification had no statistically significant influence.
Jonck, Petronella, Anda Le Roux, and Lizette Hoffman. “Parishoners’ Attitudes toward Clergywomen: A South African Case Study.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 144 (November 2012): 92–108.
AbstractResearch was undertaken to determine the attitudes of parishioners towards clergywomen.
The sample consisted of 1 052 parishioners from various denominations. Data was
obtained by incorporating a quantitative research design and analysed by utilizing multivariate analysis o f variance. Statistical analysis revealed that parishioners were in favour of clergywomen. The variables found to have a significant influence on the attitude o f church members were language, race, denomination and gender. None o f the other variables yielded statistically significant differences. Despite the positive attitudes that were reported, discrimination against clergywomen continues. Further research is
needed to examine the disparity between attitudes and behaviour.
Jules-Rosette, Bennetta. “Women as Ceremonial Leaders in an African Church: The Apostles of John Maranke.” In The New Religions of Africa, edited by Bennetta Jules-Rosette, 127–44. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publications, 1979.
AbstractIn 1996 the Zambian government published Educating our Future: National Policy on Education. The document affirms the aim for school education, which is to promote the full development of the physical, intellectual, social, affective, moral and spiritual qualities of pupils so that they become complete persons. This paper discusses the question of gender within African traditional societies and how RE, within the provisions of the policy document, could respond to gender issues within African traditional religions. The paper acknowledges that African traditional religions may discriminate against women but also argues that the African heritage allows for an appreciation of women as full members of society
Kaunda, Chammah J. “Ndembu Cultural Liminality, Terrains of Gender Contestation: Reconceptualising Zambian Pentecostalism as Liminal Spaces.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 73, no. 3 (2017): 1–7.
AbstractIn this article, I demonstrate how Capital Christian Ministries International has been conceptualised as ecclesiastical spaces for de-gendering. I have utilised symbolic imagination within the Ndembu cultural liminality as theoretical framework in theological studies. I have argued that the initiates in the liminal spaces subverted social normative through the process of un-gendering. The article concludes by arguing that reclaim and reconstitute ecclesia spaces as liminal spaces have potential to promote gender emancipation within African Christianity.
Kemdirim, Protus O. “Towards Inclusiveness for Women in the African Churches.” Mission Studies 12, no. 1 (1995): 71–78.
AbstractFollowing a preliminary discussion of methodological issues associated with studying women in African traditional religions, several ideological and structural aspects of the topic are explored, drawing upon information from thirteen African societies at various levels of social differentiation.
Kobo, Fundiswa A. “A Womanist Exposition of Pseudo-Spirituality and the Cry of an Oppressed African Woman.” HTS Theological Studies 74, no. 1 (2018): 1–7.
AbstractWomen have for centuries suffered different forms of oppression and arguably continue to suffer in subtle forms in the 21st century. Marion Young points to five types of oppression, namely, violence, exploitation, marginalisation, powerlessness and cultural imperialism. For South African black women, all of these types of oppression have manifested three times more as they have suffered triple oppression of race, class and gender to employ the widely used notion of triple jeopardy in the womanist discourses and Black Theology of Liberation. The struggle of women to challenge the patriarchal culture of subordination is still pertinent for our context today. Patriarchy is a reality that has been inscribed in the minds, souls and bodies of these women. It arguably continues to be inscribed in subtle forms. Patriarchy and the oppression of women have been justified and perpetuated by a complex interplay of Christian teachings and practices fused with culture and the use of the Bible. Yet, for these women, church and the Bible continue to be central in their lives. This article looks at the cries of African women in juxtaposition to their prayers, faith and thus spirituality, and to argue that theirs is a pseudo-spirituality. This article is thus a womanist exposition of the pseudo-spirituality of an African woman in a quest for liberation of her spirituality.
AbstractIn 1906, at Derdepoort (Botswana), a twelve year old Tswana girl, Christinah, experienced the first of a series of divine visions that eventually led to the founding of a powerful African independent church. This article traces the history of Christinah Mokotuli Nku (1894-1988), as well as that of the St John’s Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, the church she founded in 1939. The article also briefly examines the history of the St John’s Apostolic Church of Prophecy; the church that ensued from the rift experienced in 1972, and the present attempts at the unification of the St John’s churches, which currently constitute 39 splinter groups. The article is a preliminary history only, owing to the fluidity of the history, which is dependent on oral sources. However, the article is structured around a specific focus, namely healing. The story of Christinah Nku and St John’s, then, will be, firstly, the story of Ma Nku’s vision of the church as a place of healing, secondly, her healing ministry, which was strongly supported by indigenous knowledge, and thirdly, the proposed healing to be effected through the unification of the church.
Manala, Matsobane J. “African Traditional Widowhood Rites and Their Benefits and/or Detrimental Effects on Widows in a Context of African Christianity.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 71, no. 3 (2015): 1–9.
AbstractTraditional Africans teach ubuntu principles of communality, mutual respect, caring and so forth, but they do not walk the talk with regard to the treatment of widows. In the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth, Christian communities preach unconditional love, especially for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable. Implementation is, however, grossly lacking in respect of the treatment of widows. There is thus an apparent deliberate uncaring, disrespectful, discriminatory, impolite and unjust treatment of widows in African communities in spite of the ubuntu values and Christian teaching that emphasise love and caring, especially towards the grieving and thus vulnerable widows. Widows seem to be neglected and even oppressed in our time. The aim of this research is to critically examine African traditional widowhood rites and practices with special reference to the comfort or pain to which they subject African widows. The research further aims to examine the behaviour of some African Christians belonging to three congregations of one mainline church to determine whether their treatment of widows resonates with Jesus’ teaching regarding the requisite care of widows. The issue of widowhood in Africa, in terms of the apparent plight of these bereaved and grieving women, needs to be urgently addressed for change in the 21st century. A critical literature study of relevant sources and a newspaper article will be used for this research. My personal experiences and continuing observation as an insider will also inform the research in useful ways.
Mapuranga, Tapiwa P. “Bargaining with Patriarchy?: Women Pentecostal Leaders in Zimbabwe.” Fieldwork in Religion 8, no. 1 (May 2013): 74–91.
AbstractThe status of women remains contested. While women constitute the majority of members in literally all religions, the top positions tend to be monopolised by men. An array of historical, cultural, theological and socio-economic reasons has been proffered to account for this anomaly. New religious movements have often promised women liberation and emancipation. In Africa, Pentecostal and neo-Pentecostal movements have accorded women leadership roles as they interrogate missionary Christianity. This study examines women’s notable rise to influential leadership within the Pentecostal movement in Zimbabwe. While the older Pentecostal churches of the 1970s and 1980s were male dominated, the 1990s ushered in the phenomenon of women leaders within the Pentecostal movement in Zimbabwe. Notable examples include Apostle Eunor Guti, Apostle Petunia Chiriseri, Dr Faith Wutawunashe and others. However, these women Pentecostal leaders tend to be married to charismatic founders of Pentecostal ministries. This study interrogates their status within the Pentecostal movement. On the hand, it contends that these women must be accepted as leaders in their own right. It argues that they have appropriated the religious significance of women in indigenous culture and have applied it to the Pentecostal movement. They are leaders of specific ministries and are not mere appendages of their husbands. However, on the other hand, the study argues that their position as wives of Pentecostal leaders needs to be approached critically. It has tended to generate a moderate position on feminist issues within the Pentecostal movement. The study concludes that women Pentecostal leaders in contemporary Zimbabwe tend to bargain with patriarchy. They are unwilling to challenge patriarchy and promote a biblical hermeneutics that is subservient. It suggests that gender within the Pentecostal movement in contemporary Zimbabwe requires a liberating biblical hermeneutics.
Mapuranga, Tapiwa P. “Pastors, Preachers and Wives: A Critical Reflection on the Role of Pentecostalism in Women Empowerment in Zimbabwe.” In Aspects of Pentecostal Christianity in Zimbabwe, edited by Lovemore Togarasei, 139–50. Cham: Springer, 2018.
AbstractWomen were already in ministry in Old and New Testament times, though they were not officially recognised as ministers as they are today. This practice was adopted by the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). Despite the profound move of the MCSA to enable women to enter the ministry and serve as ministers in the MCSA, female clergy are still being ostracised. This was affirmed by the Bishop of the Cape of Good Hope District, Reverend Michel Hansrod, in an address to the synod. He conceded the following: â€œIt is with great sadness that we recognise and confess our slowness in affording women the opportunities of leadership and poor stationing.â€ This statement implies that clergywomen in the MCSA are still regarded as unsuited to be leaders. This article sets out to offer the MCSA insight into the best way to resolve the problem of ostracism and disempowerment of clergywomen in ministry in the MCSA. The article highlights the historical background of women in ministry and from that perspective, brings forth Godâ€™s intention in creating humanity. Then it offers a discourse on how the MCSA neglects women in ministry, in contradiction to Scripture. Finally, the article formulates a missional paradigm embedded in the missio Dei that could assist the MCSA in addressing the pleas of women in ministry.
Masenya, Madipoane J. “Reverend Mother and Tamar (Gn 38) Trapped between ‘Artificial’ Barrenness and ‘Normative’ Motherhood: Any Fitting Biblical Hermeneutic?” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 75, no. 3 (2019): 1–7.
AbstractNotions about worthy womanhood are shaped to a large extent by the cultural contexts in which they are constructed. In the global village though, shaped as it is mainly by Eurocentric cultures, it would be presumptuous to assume that one can with certainty pinpoint what may be termed ‘purely traditional African notions of womanhood’. Also, it will be an exaggeration to argue that Africa does not have its own notions on ideal womanhood. Particularly in Christian African contexts, notions about womanhood are still shaped to a large extent by both the traditional African worldviews and the received biblical interpretations about womanhood. In the preceding scenario, one wonders if women’s identities reveal their real selves or whether they are tamed, and thus artificial. In one’s attempt to unravel notions of womanhood from both the corpus, Proverbs 10:1–22:16 and in the South African context (cf. selected African proverbs), this article has sought to answer the following main question: if images of women in selected African (Northern Sotho) proverbs (cf. also selected South African narratives) and in the book of Proverbs (cf. Pr 10:1–22:16) are brought together, what kind of picture may emerge from such a comparison?
Mbuy-Beya, Marie-Bernadette. “African Spirituality: A Cry for Life.” In Spirituality of the Third World: A Cry for Life, edited by K. C. Abraham and Marie-Bernadette Mbuy-Beya, 64–76. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1994.
AbstractThis paper proposes that the ministry of ordained women within the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) has not fully integrated women, despite the landmark decision of the MCSA Conference of 1972 to have women ordained into the full ministry of the church. At that Methodist Conference of 1972, the Methodist Church adopted a resolution to have women ordained into the ministry of the church, and yet this has not been fully realised in the life of the MCSA. Despite the fact that women form the majority of the people who come to church on Sundays, they form a very small group within ministers' ranks. We will investigate the challenges within the MCSA that slow down its policy on the ordination of women. The paper proposes the tools that can be used to address the challenges with regard to the full acceptance of women ministers within the MCSA. Furthermore, it investigates the organisational structure of the Women's Manyano as a means for women to protest against their exclusion from full participation in the life and leadership of the church. Although what women have learnt and practise within their own women organisation has not infiltrated into the full life of the Methodist Church, they have become a force to reckon with in the MCSA. The paper traces the causes of the marginalisation of women within the Methodist Church to patriarchal and cultural stereotypes that are determining the reading and understanding of the biblical text. Human nature is a condition that needs to be checked regularly in order to remove those elements that are human-made, self-serving and limiting. Some examples of psychological and cultural elements are cited as a basis for reflection and a launch pad for women empowerment, and for the transformation of the MCSA and its policy on the ministry of ordained women.
Mosala, Bernadette I. “Black Theology and the Struggle of Black Woman in Southern Africa.” In The Unquestionable Right to Be Free, edited by I. J. Mosala and B. Thlagala, 129–33. Johannesburg: Skotaville Publishers, 1986.
Mupangwa, Terence, and Sophie Chirongoma. “Single Women and Church Leadership: A Case Study of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 171 (December 2021): 42–64.
AbstractThere is plethora of literature reflecting on the status of women in the various Christian denominations. However, not much of the literature has a specific focus on the status of single women. This article seeks to address this scholarly gap by presenting the findings from field research the focus of which was to explore the experiences of single women
in the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFMZ). The study was conducted in 2017. With particular reference to the exclusion of women from leadership structures, the article
illustrates how single women are marginalised in the AFMZ’s governance structures. Highlighting the parallels between Shona cultural beliefs and the AFMZ’s perspectives on women, the article foregrounds how single women are ascribed a much lower status
than their married counterparts. Drawing insights from African feminist ecclesiology and African women’s theology, the article lays bare how single women in the AFMZ experience marginalisation on three levels: first, as women; second, due to their single
status; and third, on the basis of the Shona culture in which the AFMZ’s doctrines and traditions are entrenched. The data used for compiling this article were collected through
interviews and focus group discussions conducted with members of the AFMZ. Based on the key issues and themes emerging from the data collected, the article suggests possible ways of improving the participation of single women in church leadership. The
recommendations put forward in the article are informed by the common understanding that single women are full human beings with an inalienable leadership capacity; hence being married must not be a prerequisite for taking up certain leadership positions.
Mwaura, Philomena N., Damaris S. Parsitau, Christine Lienemann-Perrin, Atola Longkumer, and Afrie S. Joye. “Gendered Charisma Women in Mission in the Neo Pentecostal Churches and Charismatic Movements in Kenya.” In Putting Names with Faces: Women’s Impact in Mission History, 123–46. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2012.
AbstractThis article explores the contribution that Biblical interpretation from a feminist perspective may make in the context of reformational theology. After an overview of the diverse nature of feminist Biblical interpretation that in itself stems from specific developments in hermeneutics, this article explores the contributions made by two prominent scholars in this field, namely Schüssler-Fiorenza and Trible. These contributions are then brought to bear on the South African situation and the debate on the role of women in the church. A suggestion is made as to the contribution that the work of Schüssler-Fiorenza and Trible can make in this context.
Nyika, Felix C. “Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Malawian Neocharismatic Churches.” PentecoStudies 15, no. 2 (2016): 150–71.
AbstractThere is a glass ceiling beyond which women in Malawian churches are unable to advance in their Christian ministry, especially for those who are called to lead a local church or denomination. This is due to the pervasiveness of both cultural and ecclesiastical patriarchy in Malawian churches. This article explains how Nellie Chigamba, a Christian woman with leadership gifts in the matrilineal Chewa central region of Malawi and a member of the Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP), broke the glass ceiling to become the leader of a neocharismatic apostolic network, the Evangelistic New Exodus Church of God and Missions. The study found that a neocharismatic spirituality with its grounding in the filling or baptism in the Holy Spirit has the theological, experiential and liberational resources to aid women to break the glass ceiling in the religious sphere.
Oduyoye, Mercy A. “Church Women and the Church’s Mission in Contemporary Times: A Study of Sacrifice in Missions.” Bulletin de Théologie Africaine 6, no. 12 (June 1984): 259–72.
Oduyoye, Mercy A. “Women in the Ministry: A Continuing Challenge.” In Ragbag Theologies: Essays in Honour of Denise Ackermann, A Feminist Theologian of Praxis, edited by Miranda N. Pillay, Sarojini Nadar, and C. Lebruyns, 29–35. Stellenbosch: SunMedia, 2009.
AbstractHealing in African indigenous cultures is a corporate matter involving the totality of the person, family and community. Healing presupposes sickness; its practice is therefore interlocked with a people’s conception of sickness and diseases. In Africa, sickness is an attestation to the fact that an individual is out of tune with nature and the supernatural, which is represented by the various deities. The physical signs are therefore a part of the story and not the whole story. Similarly, the Christian conception of disease and healing is intertwined with the individual’s relationship with the supernatural and the physical signs are but part of the story. Diagnosis and prescription for treatment and healing take into cognizance all these facts and this is where the healer comes in. The healer constitutes an integral part of the patient’s healing in Yoruba religion as well as in African Christianity. There are female and male healers in both religions but whereas these specialists are designated as healers/diviners/custodians of tradition in Yoruba religion, in African Christianity, they are known as prophetesses/prophets/deliverance ministers. This paper seeks to evaluate the position of the healer among the Yoruba of Nigeria. A second objective is to analyze contemporary postures on healing activities in Yoruba religion and Christianity and how women feature in these processes.
Phiri, Isabel A. “Empowerment of Women through the Centre for Contructive Theology.” Ministerial Formation 89 (April 2000): 46–53.
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to show how the programme on Women in the Church and Society of the Centre for Constructive Theology attempts to make a contribution towards the empowering of South African church women from different classes and racial groups through it various activities.
Ralphs, Mary B., and Louise Kretzschmar. “Experiences of Exclusion: A Study Conducted among Catholic Women in the Johannesburg Diocese.” Religion & Theology 10, no. 2 (2003): 166–91.
AbstractMuch has been written to critique the Catholic church's position on the ordination of women based on arguments from scripture and tradition. However, there has
been little local research on how South African women experience the
consequences of this exclusion from ministry. In this article Ralphs and
Kretzschmar set out, from an ethical and feminist theological position, to show the effects of this exclusion both on women and on the church. Through a study of the literature and interviews with 60 Catholic women from the diocese of Johannesburg, they attempt to explain what lies behind the Catholic church's
position on women, and to describe it's negative consequences. The authors conclude that whilst many women are aware of the negative effects of exclusion, they are unable to name the structural forces which reinforce this exclusion, and
that theological and pedagogical processes are required to shape a different consciousness among women
Ramodibe, D. “Women and Men Building Together the Church in Africa.” In With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology - Reflections from the Women’s Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians., edited by V. M. M. Fabella and Mercy A. Oduyoye, 14–21. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1988.
Souga, Thérèsa, and Louise Tappa. “The Christ-Event from the Viewpoint of African Woman.” In With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology - Reflections from the Women’s Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians., edited by V. M. M. Fabella and Mercy A. Oduyoye, 22–34. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1988.
Teresa Okure. “Woman in the Bible.” In With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology - Reflections from the Women’s Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians., edited by V. M. M. Fabella and Mercy A. Oduyoye, 47–59. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1988.
AbstractAttributed in Christian scripture to Jesus’s very lips, the intriguing Aramaic phrase ‘ Talitha, Kum! ’ has emerged as an important refrain within gendered African theological scholarship. African women’s experiences in the hands of religion and culture do so resonate with the two tangled stories that comprise the phrase’s literary context. The resonance is such that African women’s Bible reading strategies have come to be referred to as ‘ Talitha cum African women’s biblical hermeneutics’ or some variant thereof. The ensuing panegyric by a male admirer engages the fresh ways whereby African women biblical hermeneutics (aka Talitha) are breathing new life into (African) biblical scholarship. In appreciation and tribute to African women theologians’ fragrant contributions to Christian life and reflection, the ode samples their work in a manner that in places feels intrusive whilst certainly nowhere near complete.
Umeagudosu, Margaret A. “Women in the Igbo Christian Churches.” Africa Theological Journal 18, no. 3 (1989): 209–23.
AbstractRape is an act of humiliation that leaves the survivors ashamed. They therefore often try and hide from others and rarely seek help. Informal discussions with female ministers revealed that some of them had counselled female rape survivors. A descriptive phenomenological study, aimed at exploring and describing the experiences of female ministers in counselling female rape survivors through individual interviews, was conducted. Six ministers were interviewed. They experienced the dichotomy of being a woman and being a minister during their encounter with rape survivors. As women, they became emotionally involved in the suffering of the rape survivors, and as ministers they experienced that prayer and scripture reading in collaboration with counselling promote healing. They also experienced that rape survivors perceived them as approachable because of their gender, but less approachable because of their status as ministers.
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