Original Research - Special Collection: Women Theologies

Mercy Oduyoye’s model of ‘partnership between women and men’ in African Christian ministry

Gift T. Baloyi
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 2 | a7598 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i2.7598 | © 2022 Gift T. Baloyi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 April 2022 | Published: 07 December 2022

About the author(s)

Gift T. Baloyi, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, School of Humanities, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Masculinity and manhood ideologies remain a serious theological concern in the context of South Africa and the continent of Africa. The masculinity ideology perceives femaleness as a symbol to be lower than maleness and thereby uses this as a strategy to dominate and oppress women. While the oppression and domination of women is experienced in many parts of African society, such experiences also exist within the church walls. The androcentric culture creates an unbalanced theology which then brings the entire discourse of theologisation into question. As this article grapples with these issues, it employs Mercy Oduyoye’s African women theology, particularly the model of ‘partnership between women and men’ in ministry, to reflect and respond to the issues raised. It further argues that as long as African women are subjected to oppression and domination by ideologies that are adiaphora, Oduyoye’s liberative hermeneutics remain relevant and necessary for doing inclusive theology in Africa.

Contribution: While the article grapples with African women theologies within a theological terrain, the implications of the outcome are multidisciplinary as they aim to respond to challenges of oppression, masculinity and manhood ideologies that women face in their daily life.


African women theology; African culture; domination; gender; masculinity; manhood; oppression; patriarchy.


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