Review of The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an Ethiopian Woman [Book Review]

Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 125 (7):54 & 58 (2020)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Wendy Laura Belcher has done her cultural work by queering Mother Walatta Petros's life in this one of a kind book. The struggles of Mother Walatta Petros and her nuns and their heirs' reluctance to enunciate same sex desire is brought out well in this book and its review in Prabuddha Bharata which has not missed an issue from 1896 to date. The book under review establishes Mother Walatta Petros as an African proto-feminist. This is a very well researched book. The genre of the gädl too is very well brought out by Belcher and Kleiner. Medievalists offline and online really do not as yet think African indigenous works as worthy of their consideration. Belcher overcame many roadblocks to write something actually worth reading. Because of constraint of space, the book could not be reviewed more expansively. While the book is one of its kind in its domain; it is still an act of colonial interference within Ethiopian realpolitiks of religions. I have mentioned in the review that African Roman Catholic Cardinals like Cardinal Sarah insist on washing his Church's dirty linen in private. Now, the question is, would say, Wendy Laura Belcher and Kleiner have the guts and their publisher too, to write about paedophilia in the various American Churches? Is it not convenient to impute lesbianism to Mother Walatta Petros and shy away from writing about female desire say, within the global Loreto Convents? This reviewer presumes from this book that all convents are dens of female desire: some can be enunciated by white folks; some cannot. The question is: why queer Ethiopian spirituality when Mother Walatta Petros is no longer alive to defend herself?
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2020-06-24
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
43 ( #53,084 of 2,427,866 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #43,950 of 2,427,866 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.