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Female theologians discuss migration, gender and religion at ceremony for award-winning book

Female theologians discuss migration, gender and religion at ceremony for award-winning book

The prize was celebrated on 4 November at the Missionshaus in Basel. Photo: Luzia Sutter Rehmann

08 November 2017

The book, “There is Something We Long For” compiled by African female theologians received accolades when its authors were presented with the Marga Bührig Award 2017 at a weekend symposium in Basel, Switzerland.

The prize was celebrated on 4 November at the Missionshaus in Basel with some of the authors and editors of the group known as Tsena Malalaka who wrote the book.

The award was presented at a symposium under the theme: “Seeking Justice Passionately (Gerechtigkeit leidenschaftlich suchen).”

There the discussion focused on “Migration, Gender, Religion - The contribution of feminist liberation theology to an open and democratic Europe.”

Rev. Dr Nyambura Njoroge, a theologian and coordinator of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA) and a Kenyan Presbyterian, wrote one of the chapters in the award-winning book. The chapter is titled: “Becoming Creative Agents of the Gospel.”

“My chapter provides an African commentary to the articles authored by a small group of African and European women theologians.

“This group intentionally embarked on a ‘pilgrimage’ of developing friendships, becoming, crossing boundaries of language and intercultural experiences grounded in scriptures,” said Njoroge, whose work at the WCC focuses on issues raised in the book.

Organizers said the symposium was held at time of “worrying developments” in Europe and around the world in which nationalist movements fuel fear and xenophobia.

Njoroge said their group strives to follow in the “footsteps of our foremothers in faith including the five ‘Mothers of Jesus’ named in the genealogy narrative (in Matthew 1:1-16) amid many historical and contemporary injustices, among them patriarchy.”

Other laureates of the Marga Bührig Award were present including: Judith Wipfler, theologian and radio editor for the Swiss national broadcaster SRF; Prof. Dr Claudia Janssen, German professor in feminist theology; Eske Wollrad, director general of Evangelical Women in German; and Dr Béatrice Bowald, a Swiss Roman Catholic theologian and ethicist.

“I attempt to enter into dialogue with the women through my own theological and ecumenical journey as we dedicate ourselves to become creative agents of the Gospel in both continents [Africa and Europe],” said Njoroge.

Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA)