Racism and God-Talk: A Latino/a Perspective

Racism and God-Talk: A Latino/a Perspective

Racism and God-Talk: A Latino/a Perspective

Racism and God-Talk: A Latino/a Perspective


The dramatic impact of Islamic fundamentalism in recent years has skewed our image of Islamic history and culture. Stereotypes depict Islamic societies as economically backward, hyper-patriarchal, and fanatically religious. But in fact, the Islamic world encompasses a great diversity of cultures and a great deal of variation within those cultures in terms of gender roles and sexuality. The first collection on this topic from a historical and anthropological perspective, Homosexuality in the Muslim World reveals that patterns of male and female homosexuality have existed and often flourished within the Islamic world. Indeed, same-sex relations have, until quite recently, been much more tolerated under Islam than in the Christian West. Based on the latest theoretical perspectives in gender studies, feminism, and gay studies, Homosexuality in the Muslim World includes cultural and historical analyses of the entire Islamic world, not just the so-called Middle East. Essays show both age-stratified patterns of homosexuality, as revealed in the erotic and romantic poetry of medieval poets, and gender-based patterns, in which both men and women might, to varying degrees, choose to live as members of the opposite sex. The contributors draw on historical documents, literary texts, ethnographic observation and direct observation by both Muslim and non-Muslim authors to show the considerable diversity of Islamic societies and the existence of tolerated gender and sexual variances.


Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound
wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of our
selves. But, while joined by many bonds, which one precedes and
brings forth the other is not easy to discern.

— John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

The future begins in the dream of what could and ought to be.

—Virgilio Elizondo, The Future Is Mestizo

The Fundamental Contradiction

The apostle Paul writes, “As many of you were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:27-28, NRSV). Today's church, while recognizing that questions of ethnic identity in the ancient world differ greatly from modern conceptions of race, embraces Paul's eschatological vision of a community in which distinctions of race, class, and gender are transcended in Christ as a normative statement for understanding Christian identity. However, in the North American context, race consciousness plays a central role in the theological constructions of racially marginalized and oppressed communities. Given Paul's vision of God's kingdom defined by the breakdown of all distinctions and relationships of domination—no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female—how do we make sense of ethnic particularity within the church's theological formulations?

The tendency toward group inclusion/exclusion at the intersection of two or more cultures has persisted throughout human history. Cultural identity, an intangible and fluid reality, often solidifies in response . . .

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