School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

Abortion within the African faith landscape discussed in Masters Research

Mr William Chisa graduated with a Masters in Theology for his research on the issue of abortion within the African faith landscape that was supervised by Dr Wilhelm Meyer.
William Chisa
William Chisa

He analysed the context of the proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill in Malawi, including political, medical and religious responses to the Bill. The study identifies flaws in the rights-based approach to termination of pregnancy and argues for public healthcare and reproductive justice as alternatives. Religious responses to termination of pregnancy – which are based on biblical texts – are critiqued using African feminist biblical hermeneutics.

Chisa focused on the biblical text of Mark 5:25-34 and discussed feminist readings of this text. ‘The character of the woman in this text has been used as a source for encouragement for women struggling for voices and choices on matters concerning termination of pregnancy in Malawi. The woman in this text has been identified in terms of her actions (initiative) and not her condition,’ he explained.

Chisa suggests that ideo-theological resources such as African feminist biblical hermeneutics and the narrative method be employed to engage with the termination of pregnancy discourse in Malawi.  Contextual Bible Study and a rap song are suggested as further resources for empowerment, liberation and education through the biblical text of Mark 5:25-34.

He is hopeful that his research will enable women’s voices to be heard in the termination of pregnancy discourse in Malawi.

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