AFRICAN METAPHORS FOR GOD: MALE OR FEMALE?

Nisbert Taisekwa Taringa

Abstract


This paper investigates the extent of sexism in the African concept of God with
special reference to the Shona of Zimbabwe. Much of the discussion about African
theology tends to present African concepts of God in the context of western
Christian theology which emphasises the male image of God and therefore becomes
sexist. This approach fails to enhance the authority of women in the sphere of
religion and society. Through investigating Shona metaphors for God I argue that
African concepts of God are sui generis. They are much less sexist than what
African Christian theology presents. The concept of God among the Shona may be
expressed as: “Thou art woman, Thou art man”. The paper begins by stating the
problem and then analyse the following metaphors for God: Mwari/Mhandara,
Mbuya/Sekuru, Muvumbi/Muvumbapasi/Muhari, Musiki/Musikavanhu, Dziva/
Dzivaguru/Chidziva Chopo, Runji, Sororezhou and Wokumusoro.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/86-0-946

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

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