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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


MUSONI, Phillip. Gender Inequality in the Church: Addressing Patriarchy within the Liturgical Spaces in the Johane Masowe Chishanu Church in South Africa. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2023, vol.49, n.1, pp.1-15. ISSN 2412-4265.

This article discusses gender inequality in the Johane Masowe Chishanu Church (JMCC), a Zimbabwean church that has established branches in South Africa. The article reports on a study that grappled with the question of how the JMCC addresses patriarchal structures that have pervaded and replicated in most African Indigenous Churches (AICs). Using an African cultural hermeneutics theory, the current study sought to build on the valuable inputs of the late MaryAnne Elizabeth Plaatjies-Van Huffel (1959-2020), who dedicated her work to the cause of gender inclusiveness and the eradication of social injustices. Plaatjies-Van Huffel, whose extensive contribution as an academic and a minister in the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), is revered throughout theological and academic settings, particularly in southern Africa. Accordingly, the study found that although the JMCC has celebrated 90 years of its existence, women and girls have not been given an equal opportunity in officiating the sacraments and other liturgies. Hence, the study recommends that the time is right for women and girls in the JMCC to follow in the footsteps of Plaatjies-Van Huffel in the struggle to liberate themselves from traditions and cultural bondage. Further, the study recommends that some religious and cultural traditions, which forbid women from occupying these sacred spaces simply because they are female, must be addressed. The data for the study was collected through conducting interviews and consulting secondary sources, such as published books and journals.

Palabras clave : African Indigenous Churches; gender; Johane Masowe Chishanu Church; inequality; liturgical spaces; religious; patriarchy; rituals.

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