AFRICAN METAPHORS FOR GOD: MALE OR FEMALE?
AbstractThis 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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