The Dutch theological journal Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift, in its first issue of 2011, has published my article ‘Theologie, gender-ideologie en de transformatie van masculiniteit in Afrika’. This is the Dutch version of a paper that will be published soon in the Journal of Theology for Southern Africa. Here, I present the English abstract of the article.
Theology, Gender Ideology and Masculinity Politics in Africa
As a result of the hiv epidemic, masculinities in sub-Saharan Africahave become problematised. A transformation of masculinities is called for – but what are the strategies for such a transformation, and what type of masculinity it is to bring about? This article analyses and compares the different theological and gender-ideological frames in which progressive African theologians and a Zambian Pentecostal church seek to transform masculinities. The fundamental difference is that the latter seeks to transform masculinity within a patriarchal framework, while the theologians aim at a transformation of masculinity beyond patriarchy in order to achieve gender justice. The author shows that the church’s strategy may be more effective in practice than that of the theologians, while the perspective of the theologians is preferable for reasons of principle. He finally makes an anthropological and an eschatological suggestion to the theologians that they engage more constructively with the efforts made by churches, while maintaining their radical vision.