chapter  4
A Christian Ethical Framework of Action
Pages 16

This chapter describes the story of the woman who is identified in Mark as a gentile, of Syrophoenician origin, and in Matthew as a Canaanite. The story has profound implications for the task of identifying and addressing issues that hinder the praxis-potential of Dalit theology. The story of the Syrophoenician woman makes women's contribution to one of the most crucial transitions in early Christian beginnings historically visible. On the basis of the analysis of Theissen, the Syrophoenician woman can be understood as being dominant especially in the way she is represented as an affluent, Hellenistic citizen of a city which was oppressive towards the Galileans. In the story of the Syrophoenician woman the convergent matrices which unite the woman and Jesus in a common purpose are the primacy of the needy and pro-active passion for the deprived. This will help in evolving inter-relational modes of praxis which can engage non-Dalits as co-partners in liberation.