Tracing the Ecological Footprints of our Foremothers: Towards an African Feminist Approach to Women’s Connectedness with Nature

Citation:

Siwila, Lilian Cheelo. 2014. “Tracing the Ecological Footprints of our Foremothers: Towards an African Feminist Approach to Women’s Connectedness with Nature.” Studie Historiae Ecclesiasticae 40 (2): 131-147.

 

Author: Lilian Cheelo Siwila

Abstract:

Throughout church history, the subject of ecology has assumed prominence in church circles with resolutions constantly being reached on how the church can and has responded to the ecological crisis. For example, the early church fathers' experiences of connectedness to nature created another approach to the Christian concept of ecology of that time. A feminist approach to ecology shows that there has been a good amount of research on the subject matter, especially from an interventional perspective. Despite this positive response, this article argues that if ecofeminism is to be effective in responding to issues of ecology, discourses around African women's embedded ecological spiritualties need to be retrieved and transformed for the liberation of both women and nature. The article uses ecomatemalistic theory to argue for a need to promote the conceptualisation of the interconnectedness between women and nature. The article concludes by showing that discussions on ecofeminism can take different forms in different contexts. Thus in some African contexts this dualistic approach between women and nature also carries positive aspects that need to be identified as a tool for dialogue on African ecofeminism.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Religion Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

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