Item description for Daughters of Anowa: African Women and Patriarchy by Mercy Amba Oduyoye...
Overview Providing an analysis of the lives of African women today from an African woman's perspective, this is the study of the influence of culture and religion on African women's lives. Oduyoye illustrates how myths, proverbs and folk tales operate in the socialization of young women, working to preserve the norms of the community.
Publishers Description Daughters of Anowa provides an analysis of the lives of African women today from an African woman's own perspective. It is a study of the influence of culture and religion - particularly of traditional African cultures and Christianity - on African women's lives. Mercy Amba Oduyoye illustrates how myths, proverbs, and folk tales (called "folktalk") operate in the socialization of young women, working to preserve the norms of the community. Daughters of Anowa reveals how global patriarchy manifests itself in these social structures, in both patrilineal and matrilineal communities. Organized as a narrative in three cycles, Daughters of Anowa demonstrates how folktalk alienates women from power, discourages individuality and encourages conformity. It also considers the possibilities for the future. Oduyoye posits that change will come about only when the daughters of Anowa (the mythic representative of Africa itself) confront the realities of culture and religion in perpetuating patriarchal oppression and work to realize the goal of a new woman in a new Africa.
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.25" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.49" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Mar 10, 2005
Publisher Orbis Books
ISBN 0883449994 ISBN13 9780883449998
Reviews - What do customers think about Daughters of Anowa: African Women and Patriarchy?
Powerful stories Feb 3, 2006
Narrative theology has long been a theological style that speaks to me with power, as the stories of people contain theological and philosophical truths that are often missed in more objective and academic treatments (not that these are not similarly worthwhile). Jesus spoke in parables; the Talmud and Hebrew scriptures demonstrate God's presence in stories; many cultures have found power in the recitation of key stories. However, some stories have been ignored and overlooked. One of the projects of the modern and postmodern world has been the recovery of voices and stories from those that were silenced and lost in the past.
Mercy Amba Oduyoye, a native of Ghana and theologian of worldwide acclaim, has drawn together stories that highlight the issues of women in Africa both in cultural and religious terms. Mercy Amba Oduyoye describes herself as having come from the Akan people, who were matrilineal and had many stories of women in leadership positions, both economically and prophetically. This was different from the Yoruba and British-influenced areas of Nigeria, where women were very much subject to their husbands or other male-dominated structures. 'In Africa, the very idea of a "free woman" conjures up negative images,' Mercy Amba Oduyoye writes. 'A "free woman" spells disaster.'
Oduyoye take on the challenge of presenting a liberation theology in careful terms in three overarching narrative cycles. These look at the issues of language, culture and identity respectively. She weaves into these cycles folktales, mythological stories, and more current stories to illustrate the importance of the humanity of women in these times and places. 'The stories are aimed at demonstrating that, by and large, the Akan woman is not so much an active participant in her own suppression as a passive victim of the culture whose life-giving aspects she seeks to protect.' This leads not only to an exploration of the culture and the ways in which society draws gender and identity roles into play, but also to the third cycle of stories - what should women become? What are their dreams, hopes, and true abilities?
Oduyoye draws in her own experience as a woman of the culture and a woman who has had broader experiences than most of her community to tap into the resources from outside that can cause deeper reflection into her own circumstances. Life is lived in community, and there is need for justice in this role. While some argue that male and female are complementary in many respects, it is in some ways a false dichotomy. 'In practice, complementarity allows the man to choose what he wants to be and to do and then demands that the woman fill in the blanks.'
Oduyoye begins and ends with stories, and lets the powerful stories fill the journey with insight.