The notion of conversion is closely associated with a particular notion of religion, namely, that the membership of a religion involves exclusive religious identity, as is typically the case with the Abrahamic religions. The idea of conversion from one religion to another makes eminent sense in such a context and so does the idea of proselytization. Hinduism as a religion, however, is typically quite comfortable with multiple religious participation, multiple religious affiliation, and even with multiple religious identity. This chapter explores the significance of this feature of Hinduism for understanding the word “conversion,” especially as this feature of Hinduism is shared by several Asian religions.
Denise M. Ackermann
This chapter addresses two main questions: First, what critical issues raised by globalization in southern Africa will define the spaces for feminist theologies over the next decades? Second, how can a feminist theology that is attentive to its public voice and its interest in just and liberating praxis “interrupt” globalizing processes by offering alternative ways of addressing this complex reality? A few comments on the enigmas of using the term “southern Africa” are the starting point for addressing the first of these two questions. This is followed by comments on the multiple understandings of feminist theologies in this part of the world. Thereafter, the potential and the perils of globalization for women are discussed with reference to selected issues, such as employment, poverty, information technology, the environment, human rights, HIV and AIDS, and Christian attitudes. These issues are chosen as being pivotal to women's well-being, in fact to the well-being of all those for whom it is a daily struggle to survive. Turning to the second question, various features of a public feminist theology of praxis that can “interrupt” present “global-speak” and offer other ways of approaching globalization are described.