LUKE 7:36-50: SEE THIS WOMAN? TOWARD A THEOLOGY OF GENDER EQUALITY IN THE CONTEXT OF HIV AND AIDS

Miranda N. Pillay

Abstract


The Aids pandemic presents challenges that are varied and complex, and thus it
requires exploring unique and creative responses by all sectors of society, including
the church. Skewed gender power-relations, and particularly the marginalization of
women are understood (among the many exacerbating factors) to be contributing to
the spread of the HI-virus. The perceived inferior nature of women has made them
socially, economically and sexually more vulnerable to contracting the HI-virus.
Women unfriendly readings of the Bible have contributed to attitudes and practices
in church and society which affirmed patriarchy and the subjugation of women as
“the natural order of things”.1 This article explores how a woman deemed
“invisible” by the natural order of things, transcends oppressive attitudes and
practices by claiming freedom and equality in public assembly. This re-reading of
Luke 7:36-50 is an invitation to re-discover the transformative potential of a New
Testament text in the light of past (and present) discrimination and the androcentric
reading of Biblical texts that contribute to, and sustain the marginalization of
women2 in the church and society.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/89-0-1029

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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