Sustaining Feminist Hope in COVID-19 Times of Despair and Anxiety

Selina Palm

Abstract


Covid-19 is a gendered pandemic. In South Africa it has exacerbated existing risks in the lives of many women and girls to gender-based discrimination and violence. This article explores how resilient habits and practices of hoping can nevertheless be nurtured by women within these times of anxiety and despair. It takes place in conversation with feminist theologian, Flora Keshgegian’s five contours of hope. Hope is imagined as a choral act where the individual stories of women’s lives can form acts of resistance, reform, and reimagining alongside God who is seen as an improvisational life-giving spirit, present in all our hopeful acts, no matter how small they may seem. This does not nurture an elite hope for the few, but an inclusive resurrection hope situated with those on the margins of society that can engage authentically with the tragedies of life. It offers ways to inhabit time, with all its risks and limits, whilst still remaining open to the positive possibilities with which all reality is laden.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ackermann, Denise. “A Time to Hope.” Journal of Theology of Southern Africa 81 (1992): 66-9.

Ackermann, Denise. “A ‘Spirituality of Risk’ for Christian Witness in South Africa.” International Review of Mission 83, no.328 (1994): 123-8.

Ackermann, Denise. “Engaging Faith: A Critical Feminist Theology of Praxis.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 94 (1996): 32-49.

Ackermann, Denise. Tamar’s Cry: Re-reading an Ancient Text in the Midst of an HIV/Aids Pandemic. Cape Town: Ecumenical Foundation of Southern Africa, 2001.

Bauckham, Richard and Trevor Hart. Hope against Hope – Christian Eschatology in Contemporary Context. Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans, 1999.

Brueggemann, Walter. Hope within History. Westminster: John Knox Press, 1987.

Brueggemann, Walter. “Communities of Hope midst Engines for Despair.” In Hope for the World: Mission in a Global Context, edited by Walter Brueggemann, 3-12. Westminster: John Knox Press, 2001.

Ellis, Estelle. “Gender-based Violence is South Africa’s Second Pandemic, says Ramaphosa.” Daily Maverick, 18 June 2020. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-06-18-gender-based-violence-is-south-africas-second-pandemic-says-ramaphosa/ (Accessed 5 July 2020).

Gennrich, Daniela. “Gender-based Violence and the Church: A Church Gender Activist’s Reflections.” In A Time Like No Other: COVID19 in Women’s Voices, edited by Nontando Hadebe, Sue Rakoczy, and Nobesuthu Tom, 9-22. South Africa: Circle of Concerned Women Theologians, forthcoming.

Hadebe, Nontando, Sue Rakoczy, and Nobesutho Tom. A Time Like No Other: COVID19 in Women’s Voices. South Africa: Circle of Concerned Women Theologians, 2021.

Keshgegian, Flora. Time for Hope: Practices for Living in Today’s World. New York: Continuum, 2006.

Makgoba, Thabo. Archbishop’s Eastertide News & Reflections – May 18, 2020. https://archbishop.anglicanchurchsa.org/2020/05/archbishops-eastertide-news-reflections_18.html (Accessed 5 June 2020).

Marais, Nadia, “Blessed? A Critical Analysis of Salvation in Denise Ackermann that Portrays Human Flourishing as Liberation, Grace and the Goodness of Life.” Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 55 (2016): 701-27.

Moltmann, Jürgen. Ethics of Hope. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012.

Palm, Selina. “Transforming Hope? A Theological-Ethical Vision, Virtue and Practice for the Common Good.” Master’s diss., Stellenbosch University, 2012. http://scholar.sun.ac.za/handle/10019.1/20135

Palm, Selina. “Reimagining the Human? The Role of the Church in Building a Human Rights Culture in South Africa Today.” PhD thesis, Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Palm, Selina. “Homes of Bondage or Households of Freedom? The Role of Faith in Underlying Harmful Social Norms.” Webinar for Healthy Households Covid-19 series, 7 July 2020. http://blogs.sun.ac.za/urdr/files/2020/07/Palm_7-July-webinar-slides.pdf

Palm, Selina and Clint le Bruyns. “Transforming Hope: A Theological-ethical Vision, Virtue and Practice for the Common Good.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 146 (2013): 104-21.

Palm, Selina & Elisabet le Roux. “Households of Freedom? Faith’s Role in Challenging Gendered Geographies of Violence in our Cities.” In Just Faith: Glocal Responses to Planetary Urbanization, edited by Stephan de Beer, 135-64. Pretoria: AOSIS Online, 2018.

Russell, Letty M. Household of Freedom: Authority in Feminist Theology. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987. Van der Walt, Charlene. “Hearing Tamar’s Voice: How the Margin Hears Differently: Contextual Readings of 2 Samuel 13:1-22. European Electronic Journal for Feminist Exegesis 2, 2011. http://www.lectio.unibe.ch/11_2/van_der_Walt_Charlene_2011.html

Welch, Sharon. A Feminist Ethic of Risk. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

We See Hope. Covid-19 Pandemic: Skills for Sustainable Futures. n.d. https://www.weseehope.org.uk/.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/ajgr.v26i2.75

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.