Rojas Salazar Marilu | Ecosophy as an Epistemological Proposal of the Ecofeminist Theology in the Latin American Context

Abstract

 A section of the Western and hierarchical epistemology has maintained that knowledge is related to social classes and gender; thus, the masculine gender has kept the monopoly of knowledge. Some have also affirmed that race and ethnicity interfere with knowledge. Domination, thus, has been at the base of the forms of knowledge and culture, and the “proper” type of knowledge accepted by all has been the one divulgated and supported by the ones who control the political, social and religious powers as the only criterion of truth.
The wisdom of indigenous and African peoples, as well as that of women in Latin America have been considered as “another form of knowledge” but have not been granted the status of epistemology or science. The same goes for feminist, for indigenous, and, in our case, for ecofeminist.
Facing this reality, the epistemological proposal of the ecofeminist theology in Latin America makes analysis of the essentialism and fundamentalism of Western epistemology: How de we know? From where do we know? How are theories related to human experience? How is the criterion of truth experienced in the daily life of poor women in the so-called ‘Third World’?
ecofeminist answer to those questions  ecosophy the wisdom of the oikos. Ecosophy is a form of knowledge that is obtained from the experiences of the ancestors of indigenous peoples, and that constitutes starting point for theological, ethical and spiritual reflection.
Ecosophy is characterised for being relational, inclusive, for starting from bodily experience, for integrating affectivity, and for basing itself in interdependence and interconnectivity. Ecosophy is not only a ‘traditional wisdom’ it also epistemological basis that is able to reconstruct symbols and rites different from Western logic. The main goals of ecosophy are: 1) To deconstruct epistemological model that understand human knowledge as exclusively masculine, 2) To deconstruct knowledge that maintain centralising monotheism, 3) To maintain the immanence of God from a panentheistic theological understanding. In order to achieve its goals, ecosophy makes use of the hermeneutics of gender and the ecological question as constitutive parts of the modes of knowledge.

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