With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology : Reflections from the Women's Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians

By Virginia Fabella; Mercy Amba Oduyoye | Go to book overview

Foreword

With growing force, Third World women are shaking up traditional pieties and preconceptions in every sphere of religious life. The field of theology is no exception. Up until now, students of Christianity, whether engaged in private, group, or classroom study, in church or seminary, have had almost nothing to say about the oppressive patriarchal patterns of subordination and superordination from a global perspective. Today, Third World women are demanding that theological scholarship must undergo a rigorous reassessment of its own role in perpetuating and reinforcing racist attitudes and sexist practices.

In this book, With Passion and Compassion, Third World women theologians connect the entire spectrum of their worldview to the histories of their countries; histories grounded in patriarchy, colonialism, and missionary paternalism; histories so full of misogynist contempt and militaristic culture that African, Asian, and Latin American women have been denied their full humanity. In other words, the weltanschauung described in this book primarily arises from the inevitable trials and tribulations that come with being a woman of color and poor in a world that despises both.

The thinking in these pages is indebted to Third World women who envision a new Church from the Bible, in opposition to the ecclesiastical patriarchs who embrace the historic continuity of religious traditions and want to conduct the church by the Bible. They are women who are willing to live under the manifest will of God who has ordered the life of the Christian church into an inclusive community of equals.

The Third World women theologians included herein are long-suffering custodians of truth. As outstanding pioneers in the struggle for a globally inclusive church, they are protesting against an uncompleted Christianity. They believe that there can be a new creation of the commonwealth of God on earth. Their aim is to return to the inclusive principles and practices of the apostolic church insofar as these accord with the revealed teachings of Christ. These churchwomen are speaking out against those who care more for their clerical oaths and social roles than for the Word of God. Under the pressure of day-to- day female persecution, women theologians from Africa, Asia, and Latin America are persuaded that Christian women must not tolerate sacred and secular arrangements that result in the horrors of injustice, cruelty, and widespread violence against women.

Common to Third World women theologians is the firm conviction that Christians are morally bound to cooperate with the forces of good and equally

-vii-

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With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology : Reflections from the Women's Commission of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Part One - Africa 1
  • 1 - Church Women of Africa: a Theological Community 3
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Women and Men Building Together the Church in Africa 14
  • Notes 21
  • 3 - The Christ-Event from the Viewpoint of African Women 22
  • 4 - The Christ for African Women 35
  • Notes 45
  • 5 - Women in the Bible 47
  • Notes 57
  • 6 - Final Statement 60
  • Part Two - Asia 67
  • 7 - Women's Oppression: a Sinful Situation 69
  • Notes 75
  • 8 - Emerging Spirituality of Asian Women 77
  • Notes 87
  • 9 - New Ways of Being Church 89
  • Notes 99
  • Notes 107
  • 10 - A Common Methodology for Diverse Christologies? 108
  • Notes 117
  • 11 - Final Statement: Asian Church Women Speak (manila, Philippines, Nov.21-30, 1985) 118
  • Part Three - Latin America 123
  • 12 - Women Doing Theology in Latin America 125
  • 13 - Women's Experience of God in Emerging Spirituality 135
  • 14 - Women's Participation in the Church 151
  • Notes 158
  • 15 - Feminist Theology as the Fruit of Passion and Compassion 165
  • Notes 171
  • 16 - Women's Rereading of the Bible 173
  • 17 - Final Statement: Latin American Conference on Theology from the Perspective of Women 181
  • 18 - Final Document: Intercontinental Women's Conference 184
  • Contributors 191
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