What is AWRC?
AWRC stands for Asian Women’s Resource Centre for Culture and Theology.
It is an organisation of women and women’s organisations in Asia who are engaged in Asian feminist liberation theologies. It was conceived at the Asian Women’s Theologians’ Conference in Singapore in November 1987 by a group of women theologians who felt the need to form a community of Asian women engaged in feminist theology and inclusive ministry and to encourage them to articulate contextual theology from Asian feminist perspectives. AWRC was officially inaugurated in September 1988 in Hong Kong.
It represents a woman as a seed, growing, flowering and blossoming. The seed symbolises the source of life and movement. Women come together from different parts of Asia to be enriched by each other’s cultures, to grow together and share responsibility in helping one another, to do feminist theologies in our living contexts.
Asia is a multi-dimensional region rich with people of diverse cultures, religions, philosophies, natural resources. It also has a long history of foreign conquest and domination. The current geopolitical forces of globalisation, religious fundamentalism and authoritarianism also shape and influence the destinies of Asian people. Already existing complexities of ethnicities/race/caste, class, religion and gender also contribute to the marginalisation and powerlessness of the people in the region. Women, in particular, are caught in the toils of poverty, sexual and gender-based violence and injustice, and discrimination on the basis of their gender identity.
Our Faith and Vision
We envision a community of people who are valued and value each other as created equally in the image of God; and who, together with the rest of God’s creation, relate with one another in mutual respect, care and responsibility. This new humanity is liberating, inclusive and celebrating.
To achieve this vision, we are committed to the struggle for freedom, justice, peace and equality in the world. We strive to be in solidarity with those who are the most oppressed. We also strive to liberate our churches from the patriarchal and non-inclusive ways of its worship and witness, mission and theology, doctrines and structure.
We believe that:
- All people are created equally in the image of God.
- It is therefore sinful to justify and maintain the discriminatory social and cultural barriers imposed on women over the centuries.
- the dominant forces of globalisation and its development policies contribute to increasing environmental degradation, climate change, growing economic disparities and inequalities and exclusion based on gender.
- The church as the body of Christ has to be sustained by all people as equal partners in mission, service and leadership.
- There is an urgent need for us to formulate a contextual theology from feminist perspectives.
This is a way to use our theological ideas to serve life in response to women’s physical, economic, emotional and spiritual needs. It is also our vision that Asian feminist theologies in action can help transform the church and society.
- To facilitate meetings, workshops and forums of feminist theologians in Asia, and explore alternative models of theological education;
- To have a cooperative model of working together, as an alternative to hierarchical and authoritarian models, while ensuring that the organisation is accountable to its members and funding bodies;
- To provide opportunities to enter into dialogue with women of different faiths and cultures in Asia;
- To collect and circulate materials on women’s issues and theology from Asian feminist perspectives;
- To publish through in God’s image and books, articles and expressions by Asian women engaged in feminist theology and ministry.