From the Editor's Desk

By Fahey, Michael A. | Theological Studies, June 2004 | Go to article overview
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From the Editor's Desk

Fahey, Michael A., Theological Studies

Long in planning, this issue of Theological Studies devoted to the neglected theme Encountering Latino and Latina Catholic Theology has been realized through the labors of the authors and the organizational efforts of Kenneth Davis, O.F.M. Conv., who early on conceived the project. I have invited him to compose a guest editorial in order to introduce and contextualize this important topic.

Michael A. Fahey, S.J.


Guest Editorial

This issue of Theological Studies is dedicated to Latino and Latina theology in the 21st century, following suggestions made by Robert Schreiter in an article entitled "Contextualization in U.S. Hispanic Theology" published in the Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology (November 2000). Why de we need to consider contextualization? Perhaps a proponent outside the theological disciplines may provide an answer. Gloria Anzaldua, in her volume Borderlands: La Frontera, describes herself as a "Chicana-tejana lesbian-feminist poet and fiction writer from South Texas now living in Santa Cruz." Why? What do such intimate, possibly discomforting autobiographical details have to do with her work? And why should we care?

Many journals when forwarding a submitted manuscript to a referee for evaluation do not even provide the author's name, much less gender, geographic location, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or occupation. Even after an article is accepted for publication, and a mini biography attached, custom dictates citing only academic credentials. Why should one care if the author is Chicana (not Mexican-American), Tejana (not Texan), lesbian (not gay), and a poet (not poetess)? I am convinced that the contributors to this theme issue would argue that without such explicit, personal information, one cannot appreciate the context from which Anzaldua writes. And without such a clearly defined context, an author assumes a universally shared perspective that is both impossible and suspect.

For this reason each of our contributors has identified the context out of which she of he writes. All agreed to collaborate in this issue on theology from the perspective of Hispanic Catholics in the United States. I am pleased to introduce each author, to comment on their contribution to that common enterprise, and spare them much repetition by including a short excursus on nomenclature.

Roberto Goizueta is a Cuban American lay theologian, husband, father, and president-elect of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Although his initial interests lay more with Latin American liberation theology, his ecclesial experiences in San Antonio and elsewhere have helped him to develop a resolutely incarnational theology that ruptures the modern stereotypes of liberal and conservative.

Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., is a Mexican American priest from Southern California. Although he holds doctorates in both missiology and Latin American literature, most of his ministry has been outside of accredited, academic institutions. He has labored as diocesan coordinator of Hispanic ministry and executive director of the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry. Actually he helped found that group as well as the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS). In his article, he continues to develop a practical theology that bridges the college and the congregation while equally serving both.

Gary Riebe-Estrella, S.V.D., is also a Mexican-American priest. He is one of the very few Hispanics serving as an executive administrator at an institution of higher learning. His interests have long been in helping Latino/a young people by recruiting, retaining, and graduating them as religious leaders. As the only one of the six contributors not living near either the East Coast or the West Coast of the United States, he brings a Midwestern perspective that mirrors the growing shift of the Hispanic population to the heartland of the country.

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