Early Life and Education of Mercy Amba Ewudziwa Oduyoye

At a very young age, she faced the struggles of political instability, colonial domination, war and violent ethnic and religious strife, famine, ecological disasters, the overthrow of Apartheid, the ever-widening economic gap, and the torturous path to Democracy. She became the leader of the Ecumenical Council and strived tirelessly to make the voices and concerns of the suffering population be heard amidst the tumultuous uproar in the African Society. Her society was matrilineal and therefore like all Akans, she was defined politically by her mother. The Akans say, “Without women, the lineage is finished”. Women are considered the center of kinship and from a very young age, they are made to feel the weight of responsibility for this issue.Most of the women around her worked by doing farming, processing, and selling food and other necessities and trading, but Amba had a vision of her own and pursued her dream of changing the ugly face of Africa.Mercy Amba Oduyoye did her MA in women’s studies in religion program at Harvard Divinity School from the University of Ibadan in 1985-86. Her project was on “Religious Feminism in Africa”. Her paper was a critical appraisal of the role of women in African Christianity and other Traditional Religions with particular emphasis on the self-perception of the religion of women in Southern Ghana and Nigeria. Her firebrand kind of writing, ignited many a heart, as she begged them to join her in her quest for justice and religion. Mercy Amba Oduyoye was a theologian and an author of great repute who wrote on theology, philosophy and many social issuesShe became the President of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians during the critical period under the British and fought wholeheartedly for the rights of the suffering women of Africa.She was a John A. Mackay Professor of World Christianity (1994 – 95) at Princeton Theological Seminary. Amba was one of the seven authors who reviewed the new Christian Ecclesial Movement in Africa.