Mutuality 27.3—Fall 2020


Theme: Womanist Interpretation


Articles due: June 8, 2020

Publication date: September 5, 2020


Summary: The fall issue of Mutuality will highlight and amplify the voices and perspectives of womanist theologians and Bible interpreters, both professional and aspiring. Womanist theologian Mitzi J. Smith defines the womanist perspective as “unapologetically [prioritizing] black women’s experiences, voices, traditions, artifacts, and concerns as legitimate sources of dialogue and knowledge. A womanist perspective provides an intentional and contextual frame of reference for biblical interpretation that is relevant for black women, the black community, and/or the most marginalized in the world.” Alice Walker wrote the first definition of womanist, and particularly characterized a womanist as someone “committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female.”


CBE is committed to dismantling theological patriarchy wherever we find it. An important aspect of that is examining how our readings of the Bible are situated in our own social position, not only with regard to our gender but also our race, ethnicity, nationality, age, and socioeconomic class. To this end, we are calling for writers to show and tell how womanist perspectives can broaden our perspective and understanding of the Bible, egalitarian theology, and ourselves.


Possible topics:


  1. Provide a womanist reading of a Bible passage that would change or illumine how we read that section of Scripture. How can a womanist perspective better help us understand and interpret the lives of the women and men we read about in the Bible? What does the Bible particularly say to both the blessings and challenges of modern-day black women?


  1. How can egalitarian and womanist theologies interact in ways that challenge and build up both? What aspects of Christian theology, and egalitarian theology specifically, need to be reexamined in light of womanist perspectives? How do certain historical-theological movements in Christianity interact with womanist insights? Which historical figures who have been important to the womanist movement need to be highlighted and listened to anew?


  1. How can we support and promote black women, and all women of color, better in our churches, seminaries, and communities? Which aspects of Christ’s gospel, Christian mission or justice movements would be improved, or brought closer to a biblical perspective, if we listened more closely to the voices of black women in the church? How do our desires to see God’s justice in our world relate to black women’s experiences?


  1. How has an increased engagement with womanist theology changed your perspective on Scripture or theology? How have you personally benefited from the thought and contributions of black women in the church?


  1. What is the church missing about the lives of black girls and girls of color today? What good news can egalitarianism give to young black girls and girls of color? How can the church better serve and listen to black girls and girls of color so that they can be raised up as leaders for the future of the church?


  1. Call for Book Reviewer—CBE would like to include a review of Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color by Khristi Lauren Adams in the fall issue of Mutuality. We need a reviewer who is qualified to examine this book that focuses on the lives of modern-day black girls from a Christian perspective. We also ask our book reviewers to review and support CBE’s Mission and Values and review resources for CBE’s readers in light of those core values. Any potential reviewers should inquire via email and include their qualifications. CBE will provide a hard copy of the book to the reviewer.