Women’s faith seeking life: Lived Christologies and the transformation of gender relations in two Kenyan churches

Leuntje Jannetje Joziasse

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 2 (Research NOT UU / Graduation UU)


The study Women’s faith seeking life investigates the relation between the experiences of Kenyan women with a focus on gender relations which they often conceive as problematic, and their lived faith experiences with Jesus Christ. The main question is whether, and if so how the lived faith in Jesus of churchwomen informs the transformation of gender relations. The study uses the term “lived Christologies”, — developed in conversation with the christological reflections of African women theologians — as an analytic tool.
The study into the faith experiences of churchwomen was conducted between 2012 and 2017 in a team of female Kenyan theology students and women theologians, and located in the Reformed Church of East Africa (RCEA) and the African Israel Nineveh Church (AINC). Particularly the life story interviews as reflections of the daily struggle to survive, proved to be an important source for this research.
The study maintains that, where Kenyan women theologians emphasize that Jesus Christ accomplishes holistic liberation from oppressive gendered cultural, religious and economic structures, churchwomen speaking from their existential experiences as woman, mother and spouse, conceive Jesus as the one who gives life.
The research concludes that there is a certain ambivalence in the lived Christologies of churchwomen regarding the transformation of gender relations: faith is both a power for transformation, and simultaneously motivates women to persevere in situations of suffering, injustice and oppressive gender relations. Nevertheless, faith in Jesus Christ offers churchwomen space and arguments to navigate between gender roles and negotiate gender relations.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Frederiks, Martha, Primary supervisor
  • Mombo, E., Supervisor
Award date4 Sept 2020
Print ISBNs978-94-6380-863-7
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2020


  • lived Christologies
  • African Women's Christologies
  • gender
  • transformation
  • RCEA
  • AINC
  • Kenya


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