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The Mozambique Chapter of the Circle
On the 26th of April, 15 women theologians met at the Christian Council premises in Maputo, Mozambique. The meeting was honoured by the visit of the General-Coordinator, Isabel Apawo Phiri and Maria Victoria Pereira, who interpreted for her. Felicidade Charinde, the Lusophone coordinator, organised the meeting. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the history, aims and current projects of the Circle. At the end of a whole day meeting, almost all the participants committed themselves to write and fifteen topics were identified for research and writing for a Portuguese Circle publication. Felicidade and Victoria will be the editors of the book that will come out of the Maputo Chapter of the Circle.

Background to the Circle

For the sake of those who are not familiar with the Circle, the Circle for Concerned African Women Theologians (hereafter the Circle) was inaugurated in 1989. In the year 2002, the Circle registered over 500 members on the continent and abroad. The criterion for membership is the commitment to research, write and publish on issues affecting African women and women of African descent.

The Circle is the space for women from Africa to do communal theology based on their religious, cultural and social experiences. It draws its membership from women of diverse backgrounds, nationalities, cultures and religions rooted in African Indigenous Religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It encompasses indigenous African women and seeks to relate to African women of American, Asiatic, and European origins. These concerned women are engaged in theological dialogue with cultures, religions, sacred writings and oral stories that shape the African context and define the women of this continent.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Circle is to undertake research, writing and publishing on African issues from a woman's perspective.

Vision
The vision of the Circle is to empower African women to contribute their critical thinking and analysis to advance current knowledge. Theology, religion and culture are the three chosen foci, which must be used as the framework for Circle research and publications.

The Pan-African Conference of the Circle clearly showed that this movement has grown and expanded and put its roots deep in the hearts of many women in Africa. It was amazing to realise that since 1989, members of the Circle have written and published 31 books. The authors attribute their publications to motivation stemming from participation in the Circle. This implies that the Circle is fulfilling its mission: To undertake research and publish theological literature written by African women with special focus on religion and culture.



Above: The Mozambique Chapter of the Circle


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