Womanist theology for all

I strongly affirm AW for celebrating womanist theology (March 24) not only as a benefit to Black women but as a gift to all Anabaptists and other members of the Beloved Community. Thanks to Malinda Elizabeth Berry, Melody M. Pannell, Paul Schrag, Sarah Ann Bixler, Celmali Jaime Okonji and Linda Gehman Peachey for contributing to our understanding of the story.

Black women, often more than the rest of us, have seen Jesus of Nazareth as the historic person-for-others, the only help to survivors of violence and oppression. I have particularly appreciated three sets of issues raised by womanist theologians: 1) identification with Abraham and Sarah’s African-Egyptian servant Hagar as a model of strong, resilient womanhood in the face of serious emotional, sexual and physical abuse by Abraham and Sarah; 2) analysis of the Anabaptist concept of servanthood (because of the centuries of forced servitude of so many Black women); and 3) critical analysis of peace as the absence of conflict without the presence of justice. 

I have particularly benefited from Jacquelyn Grant’s White Women’s Christ and Black Women’s Jesus, Emilie M. Townes’ A Troubling in My Soul and Delores S. Williams’ Sisters in the Wilderness. I have also found J. Denny Weaver’s God Without Violence to be a helpful bridge between Anabaptist and womanist theology. I hope future issues will focus on Indigenous, Mujerista and Asian-American theologies.

Brad Yoder, Noblesville, Ind.

Anabaptist World

Anabaptist World Inc. (AW) is an independent journalistic ministry serving the global Anabaptist movement. We seek to inform, inspire and Read More

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!