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Book: Mestizo Christianity: Theology from the Latino Perspective
Editor: Arturo J. Banuelas


Excerpt from the Jacket:

Mestizo Christianity is the most comprehensive introduction to the work of the principle figures in U.S. Hispanic theology Protestant as well as Catholic. Other anthologies exist but Mestizo Christianity provides the best and most representative writing by each of fourteen "first generation" theologians, in their areas of specialization. Since by every account the Latino/Hispanic church will continue to grow well into the twenty-first century, Mestizo Christianity provides a grounding in an area of increasing theological and pastoral importance.

Topics include affirming Hispanic culture and theological identity: methodology; popular religiosity; women's voices; social ethics; spirituality; and ecumenical perspectives. Also included is a brief biography of Hispanic theology, the only one of its kind.

Excerpt from Book:

The God-Meaning of Our Mexican-American Identity and Mission.

"God chose those whom the world considers absurd to shame the wise"

It is in the light of our faith that we discover our ultimate identity as God's chosen people. It is in the very cultural identity of Jesus the Galilean and in his way from Galilee to Jerusalem that the real ultimate meaning of our own cultural identity and mission to society become clear.

For those who ordinarily have a good sense of belonging, the idea of being chosen is nothing special. But for one who has been consistently ignored or rejected, the idea of being noticed, accepted, and especially chosen is not only good news, but new life. For in being chosen, what was nothing now becomes something, and what was dead now comes to life. In the light of the Judeo-Christian tradition, our experience of rejection and margination is converted from human curse to the very sign of divine predilection. It is evident from the scriptures that God chooses the outcasts of the world not exclusively but definitely in a preferential way. Those whom the world ignores, God loves in a special way. But God does not choose the poor and the lowly just to keep them down and make them feel good in their misery. Such an election would be the very opposite of good news and it would truly be the opium to keep the poor quiet and domesticated. God chooses the poor and the marginated of the world to be agents of the new creation.

The experience of being wanted as one is, of being needed and of being chosen, is a real and profound rebirth. Those who had been made to consider themselves as nothing or as inferior will now begin to appreciate the full stature of being human beings. Out of the new self-image, new powers will be released, which have always been there but have not been able to surface. Through this experience, the sufferings of the past are healed though not forgotten, and they should not be forgotten. For it is precisely out of the condition of suffering that the people are chosen so as to initiate a new way of life where others will not have to suffer what the poor have suffered in the past. When one forgets the experience of suffering, as has happened to many of our migrant groups in this country, such as the Irish in Boston, then they simply inflict the same insults upon others that had previously been inflicted upon them. The greater the suffering and the more vivid the memory of it, the greater the challenge will be to initiate changes so as to eliminate the root causes of the evils which cause the suffering. It is the wounded healer who has not forgotten the pain of the wounds who can be the greatest healer of the illnesses of society.

Table of Contents:

U.S. Latino Theology: Affirming Our Cultural/Theological Identity

1. Virgil P. Elizondo: Mestizaje as a Locus of Theological Reflection
2. Fernando F. Segovia: Two Places and No Place on Which to Stand. Mixture and Otherness in Hispanic American Theology
3. Samuel Solvan-Roman: The Need for a North American Hispanic Theology
4. Arturo J. Banuelas: U.S. Hispanic Theology. An Initial Assessment

Methodology

5. Roberto S. Goizueta: The Significance of U.S. Hispanic Experience for Theological Method
6. Sixto J. Garcia: Sources and Loci of Hispanic Theology
7. Ana Maria Pineda: Pastoral de Conjunto
8. Harold Recinos: Mission: A Latino Pastoral Theology Popular Religiousity
9. Orlando O. Espin: Tradition and Popular Religion. An Understanding of the Sensus Fidelium

Latina Women's Voices

10. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz: Mujerista Theology's Method. A Liberative Praxis, A Way of Life
11. Maria Pilar Aquino Vargas: Directions and Foundation of Hispanic/Latino Theology. Toward a Mestiza Theology of Liberation

Social Ethics

12 Eldin Villafane: An Evangelical Call to Social Spirituality. Confronting Evil in Urban Society

Spirituality

13. Allan Figueroa Deck: The Spirituality of United States Hispanics. An Introductory Essay

Ecumenical Perspective

14 Justo L. Gonzalez: Hispanics in the New Reformation

U.S. Latino/a Theological Bibliography