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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
Print version ISSN 1017-0499

Studia Hist. Ecc. vol.38  suppl.1 Pretoria  2012


In the midst of purple song and dance: Coming to terms with hegemonic systems of patriarchy and kyriarchy within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa (ELCSA)



Mashudu Angelinah Phaliso

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa (ELCSA), Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa




The question on gender inequalities sounds strange in the circles of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa. Currently, issues of hegemonic systems of patriarchy and kyriarchy are not openly discussed given the existence of several women and men ministries introduced in the church. The challenge and fact remain: the institution continues to fail many women and men based on its perennial patriarchal and kyriarchal systems, practices and culture. The current structure and culture of teaching, management, leadership and governance do not favour the course of women. The presence of the prayer women's league (PWL) as a women ministry structure deepens the pain and scars of patriarchy and kyriarchy. In fact the course and commitment for women space and support remain a mere matter of decorum and nothing else. The article questions the structure and culture in the church that deliberately undermines women in the household of God. This article will also aim to challenge how systems and processes oppress and silence women. A number of case studies will be cited as examples in this regard. The work of the PWL within ELCSA will be highlighted as a lame dog without teeth to bite but remain a compromised God's mission.



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New International Version and The Revised Standard Version        [ Links ]

Recorded interviews

Nahid, T. "Why is it that when women want to bring about change for their own benefit that cultures, religions, beliefs and practices are brought to the fore.         [ Links ]"

Masenya, M. "Could have been the case but most women just want to contribute and be counted.         [ Links ]"

Ramaila, B. Formation of Associations in Lutheran Church.         [ Links ]

A young Afghan woman (unnamed), International Women's Day 1999, Quetta, Pakistan, RW #997.         [ Links ]



1 Visiting Professor, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.

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