Towards a Christian Ecofeminist Theology of Water

Student thesis: Phd


My thesis aims to develop a Christian theology of water within ecofeminist theological perspectives. To do so, it uses the lenses of anti-dualism, non-hierarchy, and non-patriarchy in order to address the main problematic causes for the glocal water crisis and the theological responses which have been offered. My thesis contributes to an understanding that traditional Christian theology has been influenced by dualism, hierarchy, and patriarchy, all of which highlight the unequal relationships between subject and object, humanity and nature, and men and women. Humanity, men, and the affluent have been central to the problems caused by these relationships and I refer to them as "subjects", while water, women, and vulnerable living beings are considered to be "objects". Many of those who use water have typically claimed the right to use far more than they need. Their embedded self-centredness and disregard for nature and other living beings have caused not only a severe water crisis but have also created a number of inequalities. Therefore, my thesis argues for the necessity of critical views that appraise and reflect on the current water crisis. I demonstrate how Christians have overly focused on the spiritual meanings of water in comparison with physical water. By applying ecofeminist theological perspectives, I reinterpret two biblical stories - the Samaritan woman and Jesus in John 4:1-42 and Noah's flood in Genesis 6-9 - and also the sacrament of baptism. This study leads to a focus on life-giving water which is interpreted as the interconnection between physical water and the spiritual meanings of water. In so doing, both the integrity of creation together with cosmological salvation are highlighted in Christian theology. While some Christians place too much focus on the afterlife and on personal salvation (associated with the 'spiritual' meanings of water), I argue for abundant life on earth, and for water-honouring faith, which highlights the belief in life-giving water in both physical and spiritual meanings. This belief is what churches need to pursue in the water crisis era, and the reason why I address practical Christian responses to this issue by examining a range of international and ecumenical church documents. Consequently, my thesis intends to motivate a re-examination of traditional Christian theological texts in the water crisis era, as well as stimulate support for the development of an ecofeminist theology of water.
Date of Award31 Dec 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorWren Radford (Supervisor), Peter Scott (Supervisor) & Scott Midson (Supervisor)


  • Water-honouring Faith
  • Ecumenical Movement
  • Water Justice
  • Noah's Flood (Genesis 6-9)
  • Baptism
  • Glocal Water Crisis
  • Ecofeminist Theology
  • Theology of Water
  • Samaritan Woman and Jesus (John 4:1-42)

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