Towards an African Pentecostal feminist biblical hermeneutic of liberation : interpreting Acts 2:1-47 in the context of Botswana.
Gabaitse, Rosinah Mmannana.
MetadataShow full item record
This study is motivated by my own experience as a Motswana Pentecostal woman who inhabits patriarchal spaces of both the Setswana cultures and the Pentecostal church. It highlights the status of women in Botswana society and the Pentecostal church. The study seeks to construct a Pentecostal feminist hermeneutic through a contextual reading of selected texts from Luke-Acts with Pentecostal women in Botswana. The Pentecostal movement is growing exponentially throughout the world, especially in Africa. Botswana is not an exception. Studies on Pentecostalism indicate that the overwhelming membership of the Pentecostal churches is female, yet the teaching and leadership are largely male dominated. Further, women are marginalised within the Pentecostal spaces through Pentecostal hermeneutics. This is ironic because the contemporary Pentecostal church traces its origins to the Pentecost narrative in Acts 2 and their theologies emerge from Luke-Acts. On the face of it, Acts 2 and Luke-Acts encourages egalitarian existence between men and women. This means that Pentecostal beliefs and doctrines are supposed to be inherently inclusive and yet accusations of gender exclusion are often levelled against Pentecostalism. Therefore, one of the other aims of this study is to explore how Pentecostal hermeneutics advances gender exclusion, and how that is contrary to the theologies that Acts 2:1-47 embody. Using narrative and feminist hermeneutical principles, the study engages with Acts 1-2 in order to establish the importance of using this text to construct a liberating Pentecostal hermeneutic. Further, Acts 1-2 are situated within the larger context of Luke-Acts and women. In order to gain insights from Pentecostal men and women about the status of women in the church and home, Pentecostal hermeneutics, and Luke-Acts, qualitative data collection methods were employed. These are focus groups, in depth interviews, participant observation and the Contextual Bible study (CBS). The data from the different research contexts is used throughout the chapters so that there is no specific chapter on data analysis. The data is filtered through feminist theoretical framework of analysis. The research sample consists of 51 Pentecostal women and 3 pastors from two different churches located in Molepolole, Gaborone and Mogobane. The ages of the women range from 17-73. The literacy levels also differ; some have never attended formal schools while some had diplomas and degrees in different disciplines.