A Theological Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:11–15 and its Implications for HIV/AIDS as a Gendered Epidemic in Zimbabwe
AbstractThis article is an analysis of 1 Timothy 2:11–15 and its implication for HIV/AIDS as a gendered epidemic in Zimbabwe. The aim of this study is to examine the role of this text in perpetuating attitudes that precipitate susceptibility of women to HIV/AIDS infection. It employs a desk research method and African feminist framework as lenses to examine the text for its applicability in the African context. The study comes to three conclusions. First, if the behaviour prescribed for women in the text under examination is applied in today’s context, it exposes women to HIV infections. Second, the Bible and some of the Zimbabwean cultures collude in the subjugation and manipulation of women. Third, there is a need to liberate both the biblical text and the receiving culture in an effort to protect women from vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections, including susceptibility to HIV infection. The article concludes by asserting that, though 1 Timothy 2:11–15 is often categorised as a “text of terror”, it can be an asset in curbing HIV/AIDS in men as well as women if it is read and interpreted in a liberating way – a gender-sensitive and HIV/AIDS-aware reading and interpretation.
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