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

Selina Palm


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.

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