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Womanist Theology

Womanist Theology

Alice Walker (b. 1944) coined the term womanist in her 1983 book In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens. Womanist theology is a form of feminism that focuses on the specific concerns of women of African heritage. It centers around their relationship with God, their commitment to the moral flourishing of their communities, and their past, present, and future struggles for justice. The cultural contexts for womanist reflections are diverse. Although the term originates in the African diaspora, others find the emphasis on communal wellbeing and empowerment relevant to their own cultural contexts. Although womanism situates itself within a theological context, forays into intersections of science and religion tend to focus on issues of healthcare within African American communities, HIV/AIDS, the effects of biogenetic engineering on the poor, environmental racism, and shifting paradigms of dominance and control emerging from new views of the universe.

See also Ecofeminism; Feminisms and Science; Feminist Theology


holmes, barbara a. race and cosmology: an invitation toview the world differently. harrisburg, pa.: trinity press international, 2002.

townes, emilie. breaking the fine rain of death: african american health issues and a womanist ethic of care. new york: continuum press, 1998.

walker, alice. in search of our mothers' gardens: womanist prose. new york: harcourt, 1983.

barbara a. holmes

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