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Posted March 12, 2006

Book: Hispanic Christian Thought: At the Dawn of the 21st Century
Edited by Alvin Padilla, Roberto Goizueta, Eldin Villafane
Abingdon Press, Nashville, TN, 2005, pp. 314

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In this book Alvin Padilla, Roberto Goizueta and Eldin Villafane bring together an impressive array of Hispanic scholars from across the theological disciplines to articulate a comprehensive construction of Hispanic theology. Their purpose is to delineate the common elements in Hispanic biblical studies, theology, and ethics and to draw these together into a statement of what Latino/a theology has to say to the larger theological community and to the church.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The educational resources of the Hispanic community have been formed by an evangelical tradition that has separated the church from the affairs of the world. Thus, the church can only view its mission as it relates to personal behaviors. Pietism and sin are defined in privatistic terms alone. Critical thinking, which includes a broader understanding of one’s reality, is curtailed.

One way to change this concept of mission and to foster critical thinking is through the theological training of local pastors. Any critical reflection in the local church requires the support and leadership of the pastor at some level. Solivan describes the teaching role of the pastor as emanating from his or her spiritual leadership.

“The pastor is the spiritual leader of the community, the interpretive link between God, the people, and the world. . .The pastor as a source for theological construction and critique may function as the embodiment of a dependent model of ministry that serves to maintain the ecclesial and secular structures of oppression or as a source of support and action for overcoming the forces of injustice and dependence.” “The pastor. . .constitutes a most strategic venue for influencing the worldview of the community. . .The pastor can serve as a critical hermeneutical key in redefining the questions, the tools, and the sources to be used in reconstructing a liberating response to the needs of the people.”

. . . . Solivan places experience as a source that helps pastors to venture out from the tradition with the purpose of seeing and feeling what God sees and feels in the lives of the marginalized and neglected rather than becoming accustomed to the devastation in the communities where they live and minister. It has been the female pastoral leadership that has played a crucial role in providing a different point of view from that held traditionally by the male pastorate. For these women, the authority of their call to ministry has come through their attentiveness to their experience with the Holy Spirit in light of the Scriptures and the context of their communities. This has led them into a different truth that has stood in contrast to the tradition and, therefore, is asking new questions of the tradition.

Table of Contents:

1 Scripture and Marginalization
1. Marginality and solidarity in 1 Corinthians
2. Genesis 1:1-2:4: Apuntes for a Hispanic/Latino/o reading
3. Songs of the Servant of the Lord: an ecclesiastical reading
4. “It is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others”: life in healthy tension — an alternative model to live in community
5. Toward a hermeneutics of the diaspora: a mermeneutics of otherness and engagement
6. “El hogar” as ministry team: Stephana(s)’s household

II. Subversive and Liberating Memories
7. Vocacion y compromiso: the ecumenical vocation and commitment of a Christian historian
8. Views from the margins: constructing a history of Latina/o Protestantism
9. The state of U.S. Latina/o theology: an understanding
10. Latina/o church history: a haunting memory
11. Leadership in the Latina/o community: a brief look at the meaning of leadership for today

III. Liberating Truth
12. The truth of God: a global religious family
13. Between being and having: reflection on the religious and moral foundations of human dignity
14. Beyond the frontier myth
15. Toward a postcolonial homiletics: Justo L. Gonzalez’s contribution to Hispanic preaching
16. Doing theology in Spanish: Hispanic theological methodology, dialogue, and rationality
17. Spirit without borders: Pentecostalism in the Americas; a profile and paradigm of “Criollo” pentecostalism

IV. Liberating Praxis
18. Religious education in an immigrant community: a case study
19. The mantle of mentorship
20. The voices of his students
21. Hispanic Protestant conversions
22. Latina/o theology: Shibboleth or Sibboleth? A new accent in theology
23. Liberative educational practice: reassessing educational configuration

The published works of Justo L. Gonzalez