Oluwatomisin Olayinka Oredein

Oct 8, 2023

The Theology of Mercy Amba Oduyoye

Ecumenism, Feminism, and Communal Practice

University of Notre Dame Press 2023

Oluwatomisin Olayinka Oredein's book The Theology of Mercy Amba Oduyoye: Ecumenism, Feminism, and Communal Practice (U Notre Dame Press, 2023) explores African theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye’s constructive initiative to include African women’s experiences and voices within Christian theological discourse.

Mercy Amba Oduyoye, a renowned Ghanaian Methodist theologian, has worked for decades to address issues of poverty, women’s rights, and global unrest. She is one of the founders of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, a pan-African ecumenical organization that mentors the next generation of African women theologians to counter the dearth of academic theological literature written by African women. This book offers an in-depth analysis of Oduyoye’s life and work, providing a much-needed corrective to Eurocentric, colonial, and patriarchal theologies by centering the experiences of African women as a starting point from which theological reflection might begin.

Oluwatomisin Olayinka Oredein’s study begins by narrating the story of Mercy Oduyoye’s life, focusing on her early years, which led to her eventual interest in women’s equality and African women’s theology. At the heart of the book is a close analysis of Oduyoye’s theological thought, exploring her unique approach to four issues: the doctrine of God, Christology, theological anthropology, and ecclesiology. Through the course of these examinations, Oredein shows how Oduyoye’s life story and theological output are intimately intertwined. Stories of gender formation, racial ideas, and cultural foundations teem throughout Oduyoye’s construction of a Christian theological story. Oduyoye shows that one’s theology does not leave particularity behind but rather becomes the locus in which the fullness of divinity might be known.

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