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Women and peace building : a contextual approach to the Fourth Gospel and its challenge to women in Post Genocide Rwanda.

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This work is a contextual study of five selected biblical texts from the Fourth Gospel: John 2:1-12 and John 19:25-29; John 4:1-42; John 11:1-12:1-11 and John 18:15-17. Its aim is to read the selected texts with a Rwandan woman’s eyes, focusing on her peacemaking role and her potential as an agent of reconciliation. It is motivated by the context of the Rwandan situation during and after the catastrophic genocide of 1994. This work seeks to open the eyes of Rwandan women toward the role of peacemaking and unity-building by using a combined approach to conflict resolution. This approach includes the application of some theories in the domain of sociology, as well as the contextual biblical approach. Thus, it combines the capacity of awareness of conflicts in the community and its pain in the victim, and strives to restore the broken relationship caused by the conflict. The reading of the biblical texts with Rwandan eyes and the dialogue with the texts pointed out that the women used some tools in the gospel for success in the role of peacemaking and peace-building in their communities. The main tools are listed in the data findings of the exegesis. But mainly the transcendence of conflictual myths of origin to with kinship ties was found to be a major tool for breaking the kind of barriers which could lead to genocide. This research also highlights the failure of women in that domain because of their lack of transcendence of obligations based on regional and kinship ties. They fail to display their ubumuntu and their ubunyampinga. They rather point fingers at the victims instead of siding with or shielding them. Various suggestions are made for women to play a successful role in bringing about true and lasting peace and reconciliation, pointing out some ways in which Rwandan women can help to restore unity and trust among the population.


Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2012.


Bible. N.T. John--Criticism, interpretation, etc., Genocide--Rwanda., Peace-building--Rwanda., Women--Rwanda., Rwanda--Ethnic relations., Theses--Theology.