Narrative, Identity and Ethics in Postcolonial Kenya
The Young Women’s Christian Association
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 248
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
Can a Christian organization with colonial roots work towards reproductive justice for Kenyan women and resist sexist interpretations of Christianity? How does a women’s organization in Africa navigate controversial ethical dilemmas, while dealing with the pressures of imperialism in international development? Based on a case study of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Kenya, this book explores the answers to these questions. It also introduces a theoretical framework drawn from postcolonial feminist critique, narrative identity theory and the work of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians: ‘everyday Christian ethics'. The book evaluates the theory’s implications as a cross-disciplinary theme in feminist studies of religion and theology. Eleanor Tiplady Higgs argues that Kenya YWCA’s narratives of its Christian history and constitution sustain a link between its ethical perspective and its identity. The ethical insights that emerge from these practices proclaim the relevance of the value of ‘fulfilled lives’, as prescribed in the New Testament, for Christian women’s experiences of reproductive injustice.
This fascinating text articulates the story of YWCA as one that embodies a Christian feminist ethic for human dignity. * Esther Mombo, St. Paul's University, Kenya * Eleanor Tiplady Higgs immerses readers in an exploration of the transplanted religious organization, the YWCA, in Kenya - a journey from the colonial to present day. There is keen attention to the intersection of race, religion and gender. * Theron N. Ford, John Carroll University, USA * In true postcolonial feminist spirit, Eleanor Tiplady Higgs critically foregrounds women's moral agency, elucidating how this is enabled through everyday Christian ethics. Doing so, she develops an innovative approach to gender, religion, ethics and identity. * Adriaan van Klinken, University of Leeds, UK * This sophisticated study explores how the Kenya YWCA negotiates tensions arising among its Christian, feminist and African identities as it seeks to advance women's lives. It sheds light on an underappreciated yet important aspect of how African Christians engage global Christianity and development institutions. * Paul Kollman, University of Notre Dame, USA *