Engaging Transformation: Ecowomanist Spirituality

Chapt. 4, Ecowomanism
by Dr. Melanie L. Harris

Alice Walker defined womanism in 4 parts:

  1. IDs w/ black feminism & feminisms of color.
  2. but inclusive all genders
  3. loves herself regardless - humanization ...
"'4. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender"
                                      ~ Walker.

Flowers in our mother's garden

imagery that evokes our connections with nature and each other, diversity.

Rose Mary Amenga-Etego

"Nankani women share an identity with the earth as sustainers and providers of life for their community." p 88
quotes Ursula King: women's spirituality to be more fluid and not dualistic.  p. 89

Layli Maparyan

"spirituality is an acknowledged relationship with ... divine / transpersonal / cosmic / invisible realm, while religion is a culturally organized framework for experiencing that relationship." p.89

Mercy Oduyoye

"God's sustenance and beneficence  [are emphasized] The material world, we call it, is spiritual..." p 90

Ecospiritual healing practices

"provide models of contemplative practices of planetary and self-care."

Ecowomanist Interreligious Dialogue

Chapt. 5,Ecowomanism by Dr Melanie L. Harris


womanist scholar Layli Maparyan's term to put world religions and indigenous spiritualities on equal footing   p. 103
womanist "highlight[s] the complex subjectivity of Black women"  p.105

race-class- gender, tripartite analysis

womanist analysis is postcolonial

"insists [on] a lens...  that demystifies inaccurate cultural representations of black women that are designed to rob [them] ... of power and agency." p. 105
focus is on the beauty and complexity of black women's lives and the depth of sheer wisdom that comes from black women
... who daily navigate and survive shifting oppressive systems.  p. 105
"... a combination of lenses be used to rehumanize black women [oppressed by] a logic of domination ...
by placing epistemological privilege on black women's voices, stories, and experiences.
 This connection between theory and praxis in womanist religious thought is key. p. 106

Womanist Dancing Mind Method 

"There is a remarkable plurality alive in the African diaspora that speaks to the richness of African ... heritage."  p. 108
Emilie Townes cites Toni Morrison and the dancing mind summarized as ...
"... creation and tending to of an embodied space of peace in which minds meet and dance in openness with one another. ... mutually enhancing engagement."p.109
The expansive nature ... [and] ... web-like openness of the definition of womanist was written by Walker to have 'more room in it for changes,'
 thus allowing womanist spirituality to take on a more fluid characteristic and not be burdened by ties to particular religious doctrine or dogma.
argue against the systems of patriarchy, sexism, classism, racism, homophobia[, ableism] and anthropocentrism in society and religions.
Womanist interfaith dialogue helps women of African descent come to voice and offer reverence to Spirit in ways that ...
clearly identify
womanist wisdom, mutuality, inner sanctity, freedom, and the community
as values worth sharing. p. 117