Original Research

Voice of the voiceless: The legacy of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians

Hazel O. Ayanga
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 2 | a1580 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i2.1580 | © 2016 Hazel O. Ayanga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 February 2016 | Published: 08 July 2016

About the author(s)

Hazel O. Ayanga, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians (the Circle) formally came into existence in 1989 in Accra, Ghana. Under the charismatic leadership of Mercy Amba Oduyoye, the Circle sought to be the voice of African Christian women at the grass roots level. To this end research and publication was and still is one of the major pillars and activities of the Circle. The main objective of the Circle is ‘to write and publish theological literature written by African women from their own experience of religion and culture on this continent’. In this regard the Circle has been and continues to be the voice for and on behalf of the African woman in religion, culture and theology. However, 25 years down the line there is need for an evaluation of the legacy of the Circle. How has the Circle been a voice for the voiceless, a mentoring instrument for women venturing into the academia? This article seeks to do this evaluation by examining the activities of the Circle including research publication.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article seeks to evaluate the achievements of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians in relation to the Circle’s stated objectives. The article picks up the notion of the Circle theologians as the voice of the voiceless women of Africa. The general approach of the article brings together discussions on social issues like gender, poverty and marginalisation as well as language. Theological and religious perspectives on these issues are understood from a Circle point of view.

Keywords: women; voice; voicelessness; poverty; gender; The Circle; theology


women; voice; voicelessness; poverty; gender; The Circle; theology


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