A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology

A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology

MARÍA PILAR AQUINO
DAISY L. MACHADO
JEANETTE RODRÍGUEZ
Copyright Date: 2002
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7560/705098
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  • Book Info
    A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology
    Book Description:

    Speaking for the growing community of Latina feminist theologians, the editors of this volume write, "With the emergence and growth of the feminist theologies of liberation, we no longer wait for others to define or validate our experience of life and faith.... We want to express in our own words our plural ways of experiencing God and our plural ways of living our faith. And these ways have a liberative tone."

    With twelve original essays by emerging and established Latina feminist theologians, this first-of-its-kind volume adds the perspectives, realities, struggles, and spiritualities of U.S. Latinas to the larger feminist theological discourse. The editors have gathered writings from both Roman Catholics and Protestants and from various Latino/a communities. The writers address a wide array of theological concerns: popular religion, denominational presence and attraction, methodology, lived experience, analysis of nationhood, and interpretations of life lived on a border that is not only geographic but also racial, gendered, linguistic, and religious.

    eISBN: 978-0-292-79654-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-xii)
    OLGA VILLA PARRA

    It is indeed an honor for me to write this foreword. About thirty-five years ago, when I gave one of my first Latina feminist talks at a small college in Iowa, I declared, ″We are going to look into the future of Latinas and imagine many voices contributing to our understanding of God, justice, and feminism. We Latinas cannot be divided and scattered into many pieces and still be Latinas, Christian, and committed to justice.″ Little did I understand that one day I was going to be asked to write a foreword for what will become a powerful set of...

  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xiii-xx)
    MARÍA PILAR AQUINO, DAISY L. MACHADO and JEANETTE RODRÍGUEZ

    This collection of original articles represents the critical reflections and voices of Latinas engaged in theology in the United States of America. Other well-known feminist anthologies have brought together and identified the ″experiences of women.″ However, the experiences presented in those anthologies continue to be dominated almost exclusively by Euro-American or Afro-American women. This collection is an attempt to add the perspectives of U.S. Latinas to that feminist religious intellectual construction. This reader includes contributions from Latinas who live all around the United States of America, who are not only ethnically diverse but ecclesiologically diverse as well, and as such...

  5. PART I SOURCES, THOUGHT, AND PRAXIS OF LATINA FEMINIST INSIGHT
    • CHAPTER 1 SEEING BEAUTY WITHIN TORMENT: SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ AND THE BAROQUE IN NEW SPAIN
      (pp. 3-22)
      MICHELLE A. GONZÁLEZ

      Very few women′s voices emerge in the history books and theological texts of colonial Latin America. Many, in fact, would argue that there are few substantial figures in this region whose impact is significant beyond their local context. Latin America has historically been set apart from the remainder of the New World and, as a consequence, all of Europe. As Octavio Paz writes in his monumental work on the life, work, and culture of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, ″Our history, from the perspective of modern Western history, has been ex-centric. We have no age of critical philosophy, no...

    • CHAPTER 2 PROPHESY FREEDOM: PUERTO RICAN WOMEN′S LITERATURE AS A SOURCE FOR LATINA FEMINIST THEOLOGY
      (pp. 23-52)
      TERESA DELGADO

      In his controversial and still relevant book of essays titledThe Docile Puerto Rican, author, playwright, and literary/cultural critic René Marqués identifies the mission of the writer as one who aspires ″to defend humanistic values, to search for the truth, the truth of his own circumstances, to be a rebel, to be free and therefore never to abandon the cause of freedom.² It is in this search for the truth, always elusive and never fully grasped, that the mission of the creative writer and that of the theologian intersect. Although the devices and methodologies may differ, the purpose is the...

    • CHAPTER 3 ANA CASTILLO AS SANTERA: RECONSTRUCTING POPULAR RELIGIOUS PRAXIS
      (pp. 53-79)
      GAIL PÉREZ

      In June 1997, an item appeared in theSan Diego Union Tribunethat recounted the miraculous appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City′s Hidalgo Subway. Spotted by a fifteen-year-old girl who was mopping the floor, the Virgin has attracted hundreds to the site, who come bearing candles and flowers to Our Lady. Their responses to this people′s miracle replay the contestation of meanings,both hegemonic and counterhegemonic, generated not only in Mexico since the original apparition in 1531 but in subsequent apparitions throughout the American Southwest. Of the ″Metro Miracle,″ working women said, ″This is telling us that there...

    • CHAPTER 4 READING FROM OURSELVES: IDENTITY AND HERMENEUTICS AMONG MEXICAN-AMERICAN FEMINISTS
      (pp. 80-97)
      LETICIA A. GUARDIOLA-SÁENZ

      As one of the few feminist voices from the racial and ethnic minorities doing biblical studies in the United States, often I have felt alienated from the Western academic dialogue. When it comes to reading and interpreting the Bible from my own perspective, I find that there are not enough critical approaches that respect the validity and relevance of minority and non-Western perspectives.

      However, this scenario of a monolithic Western perspective has been changing over the past thirty years. The irruption of non-Western voices into the academic arena has made evident the multiplicity of readings and interpretations of the biblical...

    • CHAPTER 5 PERCEPTION MATTERS: PENTECOSTAL LATINAS IN ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
      (pp. 98-113)
      ANNA ADAMS

      The phenomenal growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America has had a significant effect on Latin American societies in recent decades. Edward Cleary notes in his introduction toPower, Politics, and Pentecostals in Latin America: ″Without this understanding [of Pentecostalism] one has an incomplete view of Latin American culture and will enter ill-prepared upon any analysis of contemporary Latin American politics.″¹ Recent scholarship on Pentecostals reexamines two areas of conventional wisdom regarding them: their political involvement and the status of Pentecostal women. The traditional view on Pentecostals′ political involvement held that they did not participate in so-called worldly matters and that...

    • CHAPTER 6 LATINA ACTIVISTS: TOWARD AN INCLUSIVE SPIRITUALITY OF BEING IN THE WORLD
      (pp. 114-130)
      JEANETTE RODRÍGUEZ

      Latinas have a unique contribution to make to their communities, churches, and nation. As the foundation of the family, pillars of our communities, preservers of the culture, and transmitters of the faith, Latinas are particularly suited to lead their communities forward. Theologian Elizabeth Dreyer states, ″A sense of community is both a prerequisite and an outcome of meaningful work. Beyond one′s intimate circle the road of spirituality leads to consciousness and care of ever wider community groups.″¹ As a U.S. Latina feminist theologian influenced initially by political theology as well as by U.S. Latina feminist theology, I am particularly interested...

  6. PART II U.S. LATINA FEMINIST THEOLOGICAL INSIGHT
    • CHAPTER 7 LATINA FEMINIST THEOLOGY: CENTRAL FEATURES
      (pp. 133-160)
      MARÍA PILAR AQUINO

      I am opening my contribution to this book with the words of three feminists of Latin American ancestry to clearly indicate its focus and direction.¹ The growth and development of the powerful tradition of Latina/Chicana² feminist theories correspond to the contemporary growth and development of a plural sociopolitical movement and of a plural sociopolitical subject, both constituted as a new sociopolitical force for the achievement of justice, equality, human rights, true democracy, and a greater quality of life for all, which together can be summarized in the termliberation. This social force irrupted across the Americas in the second half...

    • CHAPTER 8 THE UNNAMED WOMAN: JUSTICE, FEMINISTS, AND THE UNDOCUMENTED WOMAN
      (pp. 161-176)
      DAISY L. MACHADO

      The person of Hagar in the Genesis narrative has been used as a symbol by womanists. Delores Williams finds similarities between the story of Hagar and the reality of African-American women, especially Hagar′s role as slave who is sexually used by her master and is mistreated by the master′s wife.¹ The story of Hagar is one filled with pain and human failing. It is a multivocal story that speaks to the reader on many levels, and the tale it tells is one that encompasses gender, race, abuse of power, shame, cultural values, and social roles.

      Yet when speaking from my...

    • CHAPTER 9 JUSTICE CROSSES THE BORDER: THE PREFERENTIAL OPTION FOR THE POOR IN THE UNITED STATES
      (pp. 177-203)
      CARMEN MARIE NANKO

      Arising from the heart of the Latin American experience, the expression ″preferential option for the poor″ appeared on the horizon in 1979 at Puebla de Los Angeles, Mexico, in the final document of the Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate.² More than a year later, it was repeatedly affirmed by name by Pope John Paul II during his 1980 visit to Brazil. In his July 10, 1980 address to the Brazilian bishops, he explained:

      You know that the preferential option for the poor was strongly proclaimed at Puebla. It is not a call to exclusiveness, it is not...

    • CHAPTER 10 IGNORED VIRGIN OR UNAWARE WOMEN: A MEXICAN-AMERICAN PROTESTANT REFLECTION ON THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE
      (pp. 204-216)
      NORA O. LOZANO-DÍAZ

      Since all human beings have a story, a context, a perspective, theology cannot be articulated in a vacuum. The last decades have witnessed an increased tendency to acknowledge the theologian′s perspective in the theological task. As a consequence, the classical notion of an objective, general, universal, unchanging theology has been challenged as a theology that can be oppressive, irrelevant, and false. According to Stephen B. Bevans, the contextualization of theology is a theological imperative if theology is going to be a pertinent theology.¹ Theology needs to be grounded in a specific context where a particular group of people, a community,...

    • CHAPTER 11 PATHWAYS TO A MESTIZA FEMINIST THEOLOGY
      (pp. 217-240)
      GLORIA INÉS LOYA

      I will be exploring the rich contributions that the Hispana-Latina is making in an evolvingmestizafeminist theology with its roots in the history, culture, and faith of Latin America, as well as describing how this theology is becoming an original and unique liberating presence within the United States.¹

      The Hispana-Latina in the United States has basically remained an unrecognized or unknown voice,una voz desconocidain the theological forum. Yet the Hispana-Latina has been profoundly present in the service of the Church, in the U.S. workforce, and as a leader in churches and local communities. But has she been...

    • CHAPTER 12 NOTES TOWARD A CHICANAFEMINIST EPISTEMOLOGY (AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR LATINA FEMINIST THEOLOGIES)
      (pp. 241-266)
      NANCY PINEDA-MADRID

      Epistemology,¹ which deals with the origin, nature, and limits of knowing, and with the validity of what constitutes knowledge, plays a preeminent role in Latinas′ drive toward full humanity.² The very process of creating and validating ″knowledge″ vitally contributes to the ″humanization″ of subordinated populations like Latinas. This is so precisely because Latinas, and others, lack the institutional power to re-order the boundaries of what the dominant society defines as knowledge. Even though oppression may be described as racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and so forth, or be understood as the cumulative and interconnected effect of several ″isms″ (which is often...

  7. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 267-282)
  8. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 283-286)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 287-300)