Original Research - Special Collection: Yolanda Dreyer Festschrift

Mutual-mothering as wise living or living wisely

Susara J. Nortjé-Meyer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 4 | a4637 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i4.4637 | © 2017 Susara J. Nortjé-Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2017 | Published: 08 November 2017

About the author(s)

Susara J. Nortjé-Meyer, Department of Religion Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


In the 1970s, feminist biblical scholars began to conduct research on the biblical traditions of wisdom and the manifestation of female images of God, named Sophialogy. There are different focus areas within Sophialogy, but the formulation of Wisdom/Sophia goals for liberation and equality was inter alia the focus area of feminist biblical interpretation. According to this approach, Jesus as the prophetic messenger of Wisdom/Sophia activates the Sophia tradition through his works or deeds of compassion for the poor, the outcasts, and all those suffering from injustice. Women in Africa interpret these deeds as communal ‘wise living’ and the custodians of justice. This culminates in a motherhood agenda, namely, making peace for life; ensuring mutual respect, honour and care for life; looking for fairness; reciprocity; wholeness and inclusiveness. The aim of this paper is to discuss mutual-mothering in the African context as an ethos for living wisely and justly. Having instincts to care and to protect are not exclusively female attributes, but include also males.


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