Ivone Gebara born December 9,  is a Brazilian Catholic nun, philosopher, and feminist theologian. After receiving a degree in philosophy, she joined the Augustinian Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady in at the age of Linked to liberation theology , the institution existed from until it was closed by order of the Vatican in Since Gebara has lived in the Northeast Region.
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Magazine article Cross Currents. In Christian churches in Brazil, while it is hard to be a feminist, it is harder to be an ecofeminist. I think that is the same in all Latin American countries. Our Latin Christian tradition stressed deeply not only the dependence of women on men but also the anthropological superiority of human beings.
In our patriarchal culture, where the consequences of colonialist slavery are still present, power is a men's issue, especially public power: because of this, God, considered as a super power, has a masculine face. In this cultural context of masculine and white domination, in Christian churches, feminism and ecofeminism are not well known and are sometimes considered a kind of heresy disturbing the community. For instance the word ecofeminism is not in Brazilian dictionaries and in all Latin America only a small number of persons know its meaning.
One day I was giving a lecture in Brazil about ecofeminism. At the end of my lecture someone asked me about the precise meaning of ecofeminism. I spent almost one hour trying to explain it: I gave examples of real situations from where we can make an ecofeminist analysis, but, it seems, it was still unclear to many in the audience.
The woman who raised the question and probably others in the auditorium didn't understand me because this word is very unusual. And when she asked me to clarify, she was, in her way, trying to make me understand the meaning of her question. She said: "I understood 'ecofeminism' as a sort of echo of the feminism, a re-sounding, like a repetition of feminism in another way.
Now, at lectures, I begin explaining first feminism and then ecology. I try to be an ecologist in a feminist perspective and a feminist in an ecological perspective. I try to explain ecology as one of the deepest concerns of feminism and ecology as having a deep resonance or a political and anthropological consequence from a feminist perspective.
Both feminism and ecology want to understand human beings as female and male living in a complex web of life inside different cultures and ecosystems. From this perspective of the echo of feminism, let me share with you three points: i Ecofeminism as an echo of feminism; 2 Beyond Theology; 3 A new Utopia for our time.
Let me share some critical ideas about our present world especially about the discussion among feminists and ecofeminists. These ideas are not new but they will help me to put my reflection in the present historical context. In the Western capitalist world, we are always trying to apply to history concepts and analysis coming from a competitive world. Different feminist thinkers in Latin America try to discuss what perspective comes first: ecology or feminism.
This discussion stresses the idea that some feminists believe that others appropriate ecological thoughts and integrate them into a feminist perspective. And by doing so, they are not faithful to feminism in its pure and exclusive struggle for women. Others feel that feminism is stealing a private property of the ecological struggle.
Some think that feminism connects women to non-human nature and reduces women to an essence very close to nature. And finally, others work in a particular spirituality very connected to natural forces attributing them to a kind of women's nature or women's divinity. Each group claims its fidelity to the more coherent option for women. While all these discussions are going on, the destruction of the Amazon forest, the rain forest, and others, continue.
While this discussion is taking place, lots of paper is being used, lots of trees are being cut down and used by industries, polluting the rivers and the air. While these discussions are going on, lots of women and children are starving and dying with diseases produced by a capitalist system able to destroy lives and keep profit for only a few.
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Magazine article Cross Currents. In Christian churches in Brazil, while it is hard to be a feminist, it is harder to be an ecofeminist. I think that is the same in all Latin American countries. Our Latin Christian tradition stressed deeply not only the dependence of women on men but also the anthropological superiority of human beings. In our patriarchal culture, where the consequences of colonialist slavery are still present, power is a men's issue, especially public power: because of this, God, considered as a super power, has a masculine face.
Ecofeminism: A Latin American Perspective
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The ecofeminism of Ivone Gebara
A history of resistance: Ivone Gebara's transformative feminist liberation theology. Study Relig. ISSN This paper explores the life and work of Brazilian Catholic nun and leading Latin American feminist liberation theologian Ivone Gebara. The paper aims to examine Gebara's commitment to social justice based on her calling.