Three associates from the Centre, Postdoctoral fellow Alease Brown, PhD candidate Linda Naicker and Master’s student Rifqah Tifloen attended the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians 5th Pan-African Conference in July 2019. The Conference provided a useful platform for networking, constructive dialogue, and meaningful engagement.
It also offered an opportunity for the associates of the Centre to network and share their work with a diverse audience. Organized by the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians in collaboration with the University of Botswana’s Department of Theology, the conference boasted multireligious and multi-disciplinary attendance. The theme of the Conference was Mother Earth and Mother Africa in theological/religious/cultural/philosophical imagination focusing on a range of disciplines, including: African religion/cultural/philosophy/oral literature, biblical studies, world religions and literature.
Postdoctoral fellow, Alease Brown reflects in her report:
The Circle conference presented an invaluable opportunity to gather with African women theologians and scholars of religion from throughout the continent to forge relationships and to engage and support one another’s work. The Circle was an important opportunity for me, a Westerner, to hear directly from others, and for others, of Africa, to hear directly from me, of who we are, where we are, and how we are, and of how we are engaging theology and religion. Further, in no small part due to my association with Prof Sarojini Nadar, I was selected to represent South Africa within the Southern African region of the Circle. This role will entail facilitating local chapters to thrive in ways that are locally relevant, and securing organizational support for the needs that local chapters present. Finally, because I was identified as one of the “rising star” junior scholars, I have been tasked with editing one volume of the articles that will be published as a series that includes approx. 6 volumes in total. An article from my presentation will be included in one of the volumes. One cannot overestimate the intellectual stimulus that such encounters provide. For example, from discussion and reflection on the Circle Conference, I hope to convene in early 2020, a colloquium related to the topic of “Who is the African woman and how does she believe?” This topic is greatly undertheorized and ripe for exploration. The symposium is likely to result in either a published volume or a journal special issue.