Remembering Esperanza: A Cultural-Political Theology for North American Praxis

By Mark Lewis Taylor | Go to book overview

Epilogue
RE-MEMBERING ESPERANZA

Throughout this work a key theme pertaining to connections between oppressions has been that of abstraction: abstracting from the woman/ mother in sexism; from the body and same-gender friendships in heterorealism; from one's self and finitude in racism; from the earth and a sharing of its resources in classism. A fully reconciliatory emancipation from the oppressions that are built up around this abstracting practice must seek to ally the different emancipatory tasks that focus on different forms of oppressing abstractions. With the emergence of an alliance of such emancipatory strategies, there begins to occur a “remembering Esperanza” – a reconstituting of hope for all victims who are dismembered by the abstracting practices of oppression.

This interlocking resistance for emancipation, though having an eschatological component, is not mere futurist dreaming. To be sure, the emancipations for which we work will never fully be realized in any culturalpolitical situation of our time. Nor can any movement claim to manifest fully the reconciliatory emancipation needed. Nonetheless, that reconciliatory emancipation is at work in our times, borne in some particularly striking places, though not the places around which powerful established churches often center their institutional practices and understandings of the Christian life.

One of the places to which we can look for examples of reconciliatory emancipation occurring as a sociohistorical dynamic involving different interlocking oppressions is in the Christian practice of landless mothers and their relatives organizing politically to find their “disappeared” children and fight for their children's future. Whether we are considering organizations like MADRE, Women for Guatemala, Somos Hermanas in the United States, or GAM and CO-MADRES in Central America, we can discern, in all its many meanings, the Christus Mater. There is at work in those efforts the power toward emancipation that is both a maternal and a material practice. There is, in other words, a christic revaluation of women's reproductive powers, a caring connectedness to all of life, and a christic sacralization of the material practice working to make the earth's life-giving resources available to those denied them.

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