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My critique on Womanist Theology by Stephanie Y. Mitchem

My critique on Womanist Theology by Stephanie Y. Mitchem

Womanist Theology
According to Azana, womanist theology aims at developing different theological constructions in which black women are the main subject. It uses many instruments, works within different rhythmic structure, and depends upon creativity and skill of individual artists. Spirituality is the whole comfort zone offered to black women. It is where sisters can come together and be comfortable and all types of sisters.
Womanist theology raised to rebirth the ordinary theology of African women. It is giving them time to reflect on how they can practice the African religion culture like praying in water. Black women expected responses from God whether in form of a sign or a problem solved. That is our culture as Africans. That development of faith was not a form of denial.
According to Carol Boyce Davies using mothering approach, black women require healing and renewal. They have to become the healers/ mothers for each other when there is such a need. Mothering should contribute to the creation of black identities and communities. Black women extended nurturing, through the construction of formal and informal networks, of which the women’s club movement was one element. The church life has been a center of information, education, social support, and cultural transmission.

Womanism is defined by Alice Walker as history of women leading enslaved to freedom and stated that womanist is “committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female”. Womanist Theology, attempts to help women see, affirm and have confidence in the importance of their experience and faith for determining the character of the Christian religion in the African-American community.

When I am reading these readings, I have in mind that African American womanism and feminism movement may be considered as rebellion movements today rather than theological movements. On one side, they have a points and I imagine that these movements contributed to the emancipation of Black people in America. I consider these movements as more political, social than religious. And I think it is one of reasons that Africans women today don’t welcome those movements. If the movements concerned black American women only, they will not be valid for the rest of the World.
The positive attitude of Womanist theology is that it wanted to analyze how have the church treated black women in pastoral practice. Mistreating black women America implies deep racism and sexism. The remaining question I ask my self is: Are the only Black women mistreated in churches or the doctrines concerned all women in general?
This may have been written basing on the history of slavery in America but it applies to the whole world: Africa, Asia, Europe. In the last class sessions, we have been discussing on challenges faced by women and how themselves don’t fight for their rights. Some men are fighting for women rights but many women are silent. They think oppression made for women is their destination. When it comes to religion, the situation become complicated. It is not understandable how men and women are unequally treated in religious matters. God created men and women equally. Jesus never discriminated women in some religious practices even it was the Jewish culture.

Reading this paper left me with many questions on how womanist theology may help women globally in case it speaks only about Black American women. How will white, African, Asian, Europeans women adopt the theology? This Theology is good but it needs some improvement. It was founded in the 1980s years and in 2020s years the World changed. The approach of that womanist theology may not be relevant and understandable today. For example, in the readings Alice Walker mentioned: “The sexuality of black women takes a central place in the definition, women loving women or men, sexually and/or non sexually”. That is not biblical and it will not be applied in all societies and in all religions. Briefly, womanist theology is too much liberal and it needs some adaption so that it may be applicable to all religions and traditions. The theology must not be social or political rather than biblical.

Footnotes
Stephanie Y. Mitchem, Introducing Womanist Theology, Orbis Books, Marykonoll, New York, 2002, p46-47

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