Hispanic/Latino Theology: Challenge and Promise

Hispanic/Latino Theology: Challenge and Promise

Hispanic/Latino Theology: Challenge and Promise

Hispanic/Latino Theology: Challenge and Promise

Synopsis

U. S. Hispanic/Latino voices have emerged in the last ten years to become one of the strongest and most creative theological movements in the Americas. Fully ecumenical and organized in systematic, collaborative framework, this major volume features Hispanic theology's sources (the Bible, church history, cultural memory, literature, oral tradition, pentecostalism), loci (urban barrios, Puerto Rico, exile, liberation, social sciences, Latina feminists), and rich and vigorous expressions (mujerista theology, popular religion, theopoetics). Hispanic/Latino Theology not only celebrates the full flowering of U. S. Latino work, it also splendidly reveals the exciting possibilities and future shape of contextual theologies in close touch with the daily realities of struggling people.

Excerpt

The present volume was first conceived by the editors in the early fall of 1992. It had become clear to us by then that the development of a Latino or Hispanic American theology—that is to say, a theology emerging from and addressing the social location of Latinos or Hispanics in the United States—was well on its way to a rich and sophisticated maturity. New voices were constantly coming to the fore; new contacts were being forged all the time; and new publications continued to see the light of day. The movement had simply become unstoppable. At the same time, it was also clear to us that too little dialogue and interaction were taking place between the theological voices from the dominant Catholic tradition and the theological voices from the smaller but rapidly growing Protestant tradition. Consequently, to facilitate and foster such contact and conversation among us, we planned a volume that would gather together the various theological voices of our communities, both Protestant and Catholic, so that we could all address, from our own respective backgrounds and traditions, questions and concerns common to all of us.

We further believed that it would be far better to bring together all of the various contributors not only in writing, in the proposed volume, but also face-to-face, by way of a national conference. Such a conference, we believed, would allow us a rare and wonderful opportunity not only to read one another's works and publications, in and of itself a most important task to be sure, but also to speak with one another, interact with one another, eat and drink with one another over the space of a few days. Such a conference, we further decided, would be held, if approved, at Drew University, given its proximity to New York City and the large number of Latinos and Hispanics of all colors and origins residing in the New York metropolitan area.

With the full and much-appreciated support of our respective deans, we approached the Lilly Endowment for funding. We did so through the person of Ms. Olga Villa Parra, then the officer in charge of all projects having to do with Latino or Hispanic socioreligious concerns. We were most fortunate. From the beginning she showed undivided support for the project, steered it wisely through the complex process of funding, and remained throughout a most valuable friend, counselor, and ally. In the end, our proposal, originally entitled "Aliens in Jerusalem: The Emerging Theological Voice of Hispanic Americans," was positively received and graciously approved for funding in the early spring of 1993. The project was then presented to Fortress Press—through the agency of J. Michael West . . .

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