Mhango, Happy Chifwafwa
Reading the Bible through the eyes of women and the oppressed: in search for justice and liberation in Malawi.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This thesis examines the importance, in the search for justice and liberation in Malawi, of reading the bible through the eyes of women and the oppressed. Serious questions have been raised in Malawian Church and Society concerning the inferiority and subordination of women and the oppressed, particularly the poor and marginalised groups and their role and place in the holy ministry. Since the establishment of the Presbyterian Church in Malawi nearly 130 years ago, women and the oppressed groups have been discriminated against in various ways. They have not taken an active share and responsibility in the whole community life of society, and have not participated fully and more widely in the various fields of the Church’s structures.
The thesis critically challenges the patriarchal reading of the texts which oppresses and marginalises women, and seeks to bring respect and dignity to them by employing a historical critical reading that leads to a liberative reading. Since patriarchal reading of the texts does not bring justice and liberation to women, the thesis engages in a liberative reading that traces and restores women’s history in Mark. Our liberative reading claims that the Christian past is not just a male past where women participated only on the fringes or were not active at all, but it is as well a women’s own past. Hence, the readings of Mark 5:24-43 & 7:24-30 provide sufficient indicators for such a history of women as followers of Jesus and leading members of the early Christian communities. Thus our historical critical reading seeks to transform patriarchal reading of the texts to liberative readings that incorporate all people, men and women, upper and lower classes, different cultures and races, the powerful and the weak.
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