Bengaluru, India — Kochurani Abraham, a feminist theologian, left a congregation of women religious to lead an independent religious life in her home state of Kerala, southern India.
Her name, "Kochurani," means "little princess." Although born in a traditional Catholic family, she said religion did not attract her when she studied in Catholic schools in Kerala. However, a Catholic youth program she organized made her rethink her values. She said it awakened a dormant spirituality in her life that made her sensitive to the marginalized.
The 57-year-old scholar has a doctorate in feminist theology from the University of Madras in southern India. She completed her bachelor's degree in theology from St. Pius College in Mumbai, western India, and licentiate in systematic theology from Comillas University in Madrid.
After receiving a master's degree in child development, Abraham went for a diploma in special education at an institute managed by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Mumbai. By then, "spirituality, discernment and mission became significant aspects of my life," she said. A year later, in 1983, she joined the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but she left it after 22 years "with a heavy heart."
She talked with Global Sisters Report about her views on feminist theology and Catholic religious life.