Major challenges for African women theologians in theological education (1989-2008)
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The aim of this article is to present a critical analysis of how far the Circle of African Women Theologians have addressed the three initial challenges that face African women who are receiving theological education in African theological institutions and to identify new problems. The problem statement of this article is as follows: After nineteen years of the Circle’s existence, the African women theologians who constitute the Circle still face the challenges of: self-definition, fewer female student enrolments in theology, poorly represented at academic institutions (few women on staff), resistance to the engendering of the theological curriculum, and lack of greater collaboration with African male theologians in research and publication. The methodology of the article is based on conceptual analysis which, in turn, is based on my personal experiences as a former coordinator of the Circle. I also draw on case studies from Circle partnerships from 2002–2007, and my personal journey in theological education over 24 years in five southern African academic institutions. In conclusion, the article argues that: “After nineteen years of the Circle’s existence, African women theologians have gained recognition in the theological arena at both a local and global level. The Circle has achieved its objective of increasing the number of theological publications for the academic use of theological institutions in Africa; it is also participating in theological debates in the northern hemisphere through its partnership of equals with theological institutions. Its ethos of being inclusive in: (1) its definition of African women theologians; (2) its promotion of an increased enrolment of female students and employment of more female staff; (3) its contribution to the process of engendering the theological curriculum in Africa; and (4) its overt efforts to promote collaboration with African male theologians has gone Major challenges for African women theologians … 2 a long way to show that the Circle is built firmly on the concept of community.”
Phiri, I. 2008, 'Major challenges for African women theologians in theological education (1989-2008', Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, vol. XXXIV, no. 2, pp. 63-81.