The South African Women’s Theological Project: Practices of Solidarity and Degrees of Separation in the Context of the HIV Epidemic

In: Religion and Theology
Beverley Haddad School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics University of KwaZulu-Natal Republic of South Africa

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It has previously been argued that the HIV epidemic is the new kairos in South Africa. The Circle of African Women Theologians has been at the forefront of theologising this crisis, particularly as it affects women. This article seeks to analyse the HIV work of six South African Circle writers namely, Denise Ackermann, Christina Landman, Madipoane Masenya, Sarojini Nadar, Miranda Pillay and Beverley Haddad. The focus of this analysis revolves around the “degrees of separation and practices of solidarity” inherent in their work. The first part of the article deals with each theologian in turn. It then identifies common threads and differences in their work employing the methodological framework of African women’s theology as outlined by Sarojini Nadar and Isabel Phiri. The article concludes with a discussion of the particularities of the South African women’s theological project and argues that the work of these six women does not deal sufficiently with “difference” or “solidarity” thus limiting their influence on the political HIV project.

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