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Title: African women as mothers and persons in rhetoric and practice : a critical study of African womanhood, maternal roles, and identities in theological and cultural constructs in the Roman Catholic tradition
Author: Araborne, Anastasia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 8674
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis adopts maternal well-being as a prism for studying the roles and identities of African women. It critically analyzes the dynamics in culture and religion that militate against women's quest for fullness of life. As its methodology, it adopts narratives of African women as a source and means of theological research based on the anthropological model. This method prioritizes the voices and humanity of previously silenced, excluded, and oppressed women and their conditions of maternal mortality, poverty, and oppression rooted in gender biases and patriarchal stereotypes. Theology has largely ignored the reality of maternal mortality evidenced by the paucity of theological materials. A consequence of the neglect and ignorance of this critical factor is the chasm between the rhetorical use of feminine and maternal symbolisms to represent and define the significance of women in church and society and the concrete realities that confront them as women. Bridging this gap necessitates identifying exemplary icons and models of maternal leadership and wisdom in scripture, traditions, and cultural practices to redefine the status, identity, and role of women. It also entails recognizing and harnessing the unique gifts, qualities, and spirituality of African women for the edification of church, transformation of society, and flourishing of humanity. Of salience is the practice of maternal leadership as a source of a new ethos for church and society through women's capacities and contributions, though a patriarchal mind-set imposes biological motherhood as the sole criterion for defining women's existence and relevance. Maternal leadership and wisdom liberated from a reductionist, biological understanding of motherhood and the highlighting of incarnated roles and identities inspired by maternal values represent innovative and original aspects of this thesis. Only by listening to voices of women can church and society develop a more just, liberating, and inclusive understanding of womanhood and motherhood. Nothing substitutes for the voices of women.
Supervisor: Beattie, Christina ; Muir, R. David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Africa ; Women ; Womanhood ; Motherhood ; Maternal mortality ; Identity ; Church