International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305


Widows, intersectionality and the parable in Luke 18

Marianne Bjelland Kartzow1 and Loreen Iminza Maseno2*
  1University of Oslo, Post box. 1023 Blindern, N-0315 Oslo, Norway. 2Department of Religion, Theology and Philosophy, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 July 2010
  •  Published: 31 August 2010



This article deconstructs a master category ‘widows’ by presenting nuances with regards to the term widow, which the authors consider is of interest in a global society. This article aims at stating the process of deconstructing the presumed fixed category widow within theology, whereas the term widow may similarly be used, and is not identical in meaning and content in the global age. The authors begin by considering the discourse of widows in antiquity. They then proceed to widows in Norway and rural Kenya, and their locally based understanding of the parable of the widow and the judge (Luke 18:1-8). Historically, as well as theologically, this text is a challenge and scholars continue to work hard in order to understand its purpose and message. Further, this article in combining text analyses and empirical data shows how this flexible parable creates meaning in rural Kenya and urban Norway. The point of interest is how the master category widows may be deconstructed by employing insights from feminist interpretations and intersectionality to reveal the complexities and variety of widows.


Key words: Intersectionality, widows, parables, biblical tradition, ethnographic studies, deconstruction