Academic journal article Theological Studies

Burlando Al Opresor: Mocking/tricking the Oppressor: Dreams and Hopes of Hispanas/ Latinas and Mujeristas

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Burlando Al Opresor: Mocking/tricking the Oppressor: Dreams and Hopes of Hispanas/ Latinas and Mujeristas

Article excerpt


!Te digo yo a ti! (1)

THE PREVALENCE OF hyphens, slashes, dashes and parenthetical expressions in contemporary academic discourse point to the shifts that have been taking place in the world for decades, but only recently (20 years seem recent to me) have we in the academic world paid attention to these shifts, most probably because they have begun to interrupt our cotidiano--the daily reality that impinges on our routines making us notice what is going on "out there." (2) Hyphens, slashes, dashes and parentheses indicate that we are in-between times--we find ourselves in a situation where the explanations of what is and the reasons for it (theories) that we created and have depended on to make sense of our world, are less and less apt to help us deal with reality, if not ours, at least the reality of the great majority of the world, which we find less and less capable of ignoring.

!Ay Dios mio!

The hyphens seem to have a predilection for connecting "post" with a variety of words used to explain how we have been thinking and functioning--"we" here being those of us who seem to believe that we are the avant-garde of the human race. At times, "post" does not do the trick appropriately and we then have recourse to the prefix "neo" hoping always, I would like to suggest, not to ignore what has been. (Rightly so, no?) Why leave behind a way of interpreting reality and dealing with the material world that is beneficial to those with power and privileges? But perhaps 1 should give at least some of us with power and privilege the benefit of the doubt. The fact is I need to do so. So I would like to propose that some few of us are willing to consider a "post" here and a "neo" there because we have finally realized that our fate is tied up inexorably with that of the more than two-thirds of the human race that do not have time but to think about how to survive today. (3) And if this is so, then we need to consider ways of leaving behind what is so detrimental to many. Not such a bad thing this preoccupation with self, for (in the gospel message of Jesus and also in my books) love of neighbor--the only thing that really saves us from destroying ourselves together with destroying them--is grounded in love of self: so we better love ourselves or there is no possible way out for anyone. (4)

!Vaya usted a saber!

The hyphens, slashes, dashes, and parentheses created by the constant flow between continuity and discontinuity constitute the space where we place ourselves (well, perhaps at times they are simply the spaces where we simply find ourselves). As a matter of fact, what is key always as one moves on (and not to move indicates the one final thing we humans can count on: death!) is to figure out the right proportions between what has been and what will be. Too much of the past means the cake will be hard, too much of the future means it will turn out runny. What about the present? The present is but the moments (and because it is made up of moments does not mean that it is immaterial or non-important for the present is precisely the conscious now in which we live; the present has continuity becoming the present-past and the present-future) that we grab to construct our lives, to make up our cotidiano and the narratives about it that we create to explain ourselves to ourselves.

!Tenlo pot sentado!

The hyphens, slashes, dashes, and parentheses likewise are indicative of our fluid social ontology, (5) which is based on the hybridity and diversity that are key realities/understandings we need to deal with in this 21st century (and I am being optimistic in not calling them "problems"). Mestizaje/ mulatez is the Hispanic/Latino incarnation of hybridity and diversity and it has been considered, in mujerista theology, from its initial immature enunciations, our locus theologicus. (6) The interstices in which we stand (not any less "real" in and of themselves in spite of their constant movement/ evolvement into the next one; their flux and temporality not making them any less capable of yielding reality and truth as we deal with them/become involved in the process of changing them), need to be recognized and embraced (ah! …

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