Women & Theologies from the Global South, week 3

AFRICAN FEMINIST THEOLOGIES I:
Mercy Amba Oduyoye and
African Feminist Theological Contexts

 

Morning Ritual:IMG-2077This week we were led by Darlene who led us in a prayer (see picture) and we heard from Beads and Strands,
“Communion through shared meals takes place among people who are, or who wish to be, on peaceful and friendly terms. It is an extension of the everyday societal etiquette of the Akan, the Kikuyu and other African people, and is extended not only to members of one’s family or friends but even to the casual caller or the stranger. …In Mark’s version of the Last Supper; ‘ it is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread in the same dish with me’ (Mk. 14:20). Shared meals conclude most social and ritual events; traditional festivals often conclude with the placing of food on graves to demonstrate our continued communion with those who have gone to the other world. This highlights the daily practice of putting bits of food and drops of water on the ground before eating and makes more meaningful the more elaborate calling on the ancestors through libation. To refuse to eat is a sign of hostility; hence the polite excuse of the Akan: ‘My hand is in it’. (Odoyeye, p. 28-29)

Guest Speaker: Ms. Rode
(from Ethiopia; a Ph.D. student at Iliff-DU JDP)

“In my research, I start at the present, I don’t start in the past.”
Rode’s work is embodied by the post colonial discourse that raised her. Her family, community, and experiences are employed to question history, society, and hierarchy and how it influences the present. She includes the influential work of Kwok Pui-Lan and Homi Bhabha in this research. Her presentation contained a condensed description of current Ethiopia which frames her interest in pedagogy (methods of education). She reports, identity is fluid, not singular. Deconstructing imposed homogenous or fragmented identifications in educational spaces leaves room for children to grow into their whole identity. She left us with a question about how we, students/teachers, find our voices, “What am I going to be?”

Readings: This week’s annotations are from Jen from week 2’s morning ritual and Darlene who centered us with weeks Morning Ritual.

Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Beads & Strands: Reflections of an African Woman on Christianity in Africa. Part I & III.
“Oduyoye points out that Africa is a continent ravaged by wars, exploitation, and colonialism (8). She writes about the inequalities which women face on a daily basis throughout many parts of Africa. Oduyoye informs us that inequalities need to be identified and discussed freely. Oduyoye speaks about the hypocrisy and challenges of the church. The church does not allow women to live their full potential, humanity, and truly proclaim the gospel of Jesus (38).”  -Darlene

Or,

Introducing African Women’s Theology.
“An overarching theme of this African theology, [is] the expression of the divine in every person through relational bonds of community.  The main task of women theologians is to weed through their respective cultures, keeping the life-giving communal practices and negating those that deny the humanity/divinity of women. The chapter on hospitality spoke to me the most.”  -Jenn

Assignment
This week we needed to turn in an annotated bibliography. Above and throughout the different week’s posts, there are examples of what those look like so I won’t share what I turned in. I do want to share the feedback I received because feedback helps us improve.

“Thanks, Emily for the bibliography. You did a great job at summarizing the core argument of each list in a succinct way. I am wondering what larger project (such as your final paper) are you thinking of doing, so that these books can be helpful for your work? In other words, why have you chosen these? What are some possibilities you see benefits of these readings for your ongoing work? Is there a cohesive theme you see in this list?” A-/B+ –Dr. Lee

I wasn’t thinking ahead, but I learned how helpful creating an annotated bibliography as I go can be. Now I can utilize the skill for future research. Below is a book I wanted to add because graphic novels are an incredible medium to learn history. Its topic of South American art will come up again in week 6 as we embrace the Theopoetics of Yohana Junker.

Marcelo D’Salete. Run For it: Stories of Slaves Who Fought for Their Freedom.
“is one of the first literary and artistic efforts to confront Brazil’s hidden history of slavery. Seen through the eyes of its victims, Run for It tells of ordinary slaves who rebel against their masters. Run for It’s vivid illustrations and magical realism engage the reader’s poetic imagination through stories of individual suffering caused by the horrors of slavery.” Annotation from Fantagraphics.com

Thanks for reading,
Emily Nagle

Photography by Seth Nagle

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