The Story of the Samaritan Woman and Jesus (John 4:1-42) focusing on water within an ecofeminist theological perspective

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This article explores water as portrayed in the story of the Samaritan woman and Jesus in John 4:1-42 on the basis of an ecofeminist theological perspective: a method of valuing the liberation of women and nature. The story depicts an event in the context of water shortages, which are characteristic of the region. However, when interpreting the story, a number of scholars have focused on the spiritual living water of Jesus rather than on the value of ordinary, physical, potable water. Based on an ecofeminist theological analysis, this article not only critiques anthropocentric, dualistic, and patriarchal paradigms, but also highlights interdependencies, interrelationships, and mutualities between all creatures and water. This contributes to the pursuit of an alternative Christian worldview which is concerned with all living beings on earth without any disparity. In addition, it is important not to distinguish between the two interpretations of water, as a physical resource and as a spiritual metaphor, especially if this leads us to put a greater emphasis on the former to the detriment of the latter. This article applies an ecofeminist biblical hermeneutic, which articulates and explores the oppression of both nature and women. This looks at the story through the lenses of four different hermeneutics: experience, suspicion, reconfiguration, and transformative action for Church, and proposes a range of ways in which a new interpretation can be justified and applied.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPractical Theology
Early online date20 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2022


  • Biblical hermeneutics
  • Samaritan woman
  • ecofeminist theological perspectives
  • ecofeminist theology
  • spiritual and physical dichotomies
  • water


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