Perspectives of infertility : a coloured woman’s reading of 1 Samuel 1-2.
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In Africa, procreation is held in high regard even though many women are affected by infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth. The subject of infertility is addressed in cold clinical terms or in silence, even in the modern world. This empirical study has analysed how perspectives and understandings of infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth have been constructed by women from African and Western perspectives. Furthermore, it has investigated the ways in which women from the St. Johannes Parish, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cape Town, perceive, understand and approach miscarriage, stillbirth and infertility. In addition, the study analysed all these perspectives and presented their similarities and differences. The overarching framework that has been applied for this study is narrative theology and African feminist theology which draw on the real life experiences of African women that are expressed through narratives. Contextual Bible Study, as a methodology, has been applied to explore the ways in which 1 Samuel 1-2 has been appropriated by the women from Cape Town referred to above. Additionally, the perspectives of infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth gained from the experiences of scholars and the participants of the Contextual Bible Study have been analysed together, to see how they complement each other and where gaps may exist. Finally, I have presented a life-giving interpretation of the role of God in human suffering, specifically in the lives of women who are unable to have children. The purpose of this research project is to argue that all women are complete women; fertility does not define the value of a woman. Infertility therefore, is an experience and not an identity