Catholic Women of Congo-Brazzaville

Catholic Women of Congo-Brazzaville

Mothers and Sisters in Troubled Times
Phyllis M. Martin
Distribution: World
Publication date: 02/06/2009
Format: Paperback 13 b&w photos, 3 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-22055-4
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Catholic Women of Congo-Brazzaville explores the changing relationship between women and the Catholic Church from the establishment of the first mission stations in the late 1880s to the present. Phyllis M. Martin emphasizes the social identity of mothers and the practice of motherhood, a prime concern of Congolese women, as they individually and collectively made sense of their place within the Church. Martin traces women's early resistance to missionary overtures and church schools, and follows their relationship with missionary Sisters, their later embrace of church-sponsored education, their participation in popular Catholicism, and the formation of women's fraternities. As they drew together as mothers and sisters, Martin asserts, women began to affirm their place in a male-dominated institution. Covering more than a century of often turbulent times, this rich and readable book examines an era of far-reaching social change in Central Africa.

Author Bio

Phyllis M. Martin is Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University Bloomington. She is editor (with Patrick O'Meara) of Africa (IUP, 1995) and author of Leisure and Society in Colonial Brazzaville.


“A fine book and a worthy contribution to the expanding scholarship on women and missions. Martin is especially adept at providing the broad strokes of historical, political, and economic context for her readers.”
 — Dorothy L. Hodgson, author of The Church of Women

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations

1. Mothers at Risk
2. The First Generation
3. Means of Transition
4. Religious Sisters and Mothers
5. Toward a Church of Women
6. Women Together
Epilogue: Mothers and Sisters in War and Peace