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The imago Dei as embodied in nepantla--a Latino perspective.

The context

A little self-disclosure is in order. I would like to create a geographical image in your mind so as give you a reference point for this topic on the imago Dei and how this life-embodying and life-affirming doctrine of the church might help us to value and affirm the human dignity of the most marginalized among us, specifically the Hispanic and Latin American immigrants of our communities. (1)

I have a particular interest in this topic as a focus of ministry, as I am the son of immigrant parents and grandparents who left Mexico for south Texas during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. My family settled in what is now referred to as the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, in the small town of San Juan that is located about twenty miles from the U.S.--Mexican border. As the son of immigrants I inherited the oral history of my family and the experience of social, economic, political, and cultural displacement that now, almost one hundred years later, continues to resonate with the experience of newly arrived immigrants and the many folks who have lived in the borderlands since before the Alamo became the subject of film and fable.

This geographical location of the Spanish borderlands can be described by the Nahuatl word nepantla, an indigenous term meaning "the place in the middle." It refers to that physical and psychical space where one experiences displacement as a way of being. In this middle zone one no longer belongs to one nation or another but somehow belongs to both, while being claimed by neither. In this place of ambiguity, one experiences all kinds of disorientation. In this place one often becomes a nonperson and a member of an invisible community that shares the experience of dislocation, cultural rejection, and economic exploitation. Such is the condition of many of our neighbors in the Southwest and especially among the immigrants who come seeking jobs and a better way of life. The idea that "they don't belong here" or that "they need to go back to where they came from" is a primary subject of public discourse and public policy in Texas and throughout the nation. I believe that the church is called to offer an alternative and critical commentary from a different paradigm.

This past summer I was driving from San Juan in the Rio Grande Valley to Austin, where I teach at the Lutheran Seminary of the Southwest and at the Episcopal Seminary in the Southwest. Not long after stopping at the border checkpoint, which is located approximately ninety miles from the U.S.--Mexican border, I saw three Mexican men walking by the side of the road under the hot sun and in the middle of nowhere, as it were, in the midst of the wild brush country of south Texas. They were carrying the familiar plastic gallon milk cartons that I assume contained water to drink. This is a common practice among undocumented immigrants who cross the border to go north looking for jobs. I was traveling at a high rate of speed--not an uncommon practice in those long stretches of the Texas brush country--and was unable to stop in time to offer them a ride. But at the next turnaround, which was not too far off, I headed back to try to find them. I wanted to offer them a ride to San Antonio or to Austin. I could not find them and turned around again, but, much to my frustration, I was unable to locate them.

I conjectured three possibilities: the men walked into the brush to continue their trek north; someone else offered them a ride; or, more than likely, they were picked up by the border patrol that often looks for the undocumented along those roads. The reason I suspect that these men were undocumented immigrants is that, unlike U.S. citizens who hitch rides by a physical indication of their intent, these men did not. In fact, they were walking straight ahead without bothering to look back at passing motorists. This lack of intent to hitch a ride was a clue that they were not U.S. citizens.

In those long stretches of Texas brush country between the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio, a distance of some four hundred miles, it is not uncommon for border patrol vehicles to stop and park in hidden nooks along the road waiting for unsuspecting immigrants in order to deport them to Mexico. It is not uncommon along here to see border patrol vans transporting the undocumented in their back seats, behind grated screens. In fact, the image is so familiar along this route that one hardly notices anymore unless prompted to do so. The image forms a part of the natural landscape of the Southwest. These men and women are the nameless nonpersons who form the invisible community that supports and maintains the economic infrastructure of the American Southwest and beyond.

On another occasion our Seminary Program took a group of students to the border for a cultural encounter with the people along both sides of the U.S.--Mexican border. On our return to San Antonio and Austin, and not far from the border cities of Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, we noticed a helicopter not far from the road and close to the land creating a whirlwind of dust in the desert landscape. In our naivete we initially thought it must be some wealthy rancher herding cattle out of the desert brush. However, we thought it odd that a helicopter should be used for this purpose--until we noticed the distinctive symbol of the border patrol. It dawned on us then that those flying the helicopter were herding not cattle out of the brush but undocumented immigrants who were using this desolate place as their point of entry into Texas. They were being herded, corralled, and lassoed, as it were, by high-tech means. These undocumented immigrants, unable to earn a living in their native country, had become human targets for the U.S. deportation machine. We faculty and students returned to Austin that day with this graphic image firmly embedded on our minds. It would serve as a basis for our continuing conversation on what it means to be in ministry in the Southwest.

We believe and teach that place is context for theological education and formation. The Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest are located in a highly attractive and expensive part of Austin, just north of the University of Texas campus and very near the capitol. In fact, the capitol dome is visible through the windows of the chapel. Like many other cities throughout the Southwest, Austin is divided both racially and economically by an interstate highway. Historical records indicate that this demarcation was intentional and aimed at separating the downtown business and government district from the lower-income and less-developed Hispanic and African-American communities in East Austin.

I often take my students to the East side of Interstate 35 to have lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I take them there because I want them to see a part of the city that otherwise would remain unfamiliar to them. I also do this because I want them to meet the hard-working people who serve us meals, the waitresses and the cooks who speak to us in limited English but who will gladly converse with us in Spanish. They talk to us about their struggles in their native land and all that they endured and suffered to get to this country. They tell us about la lucha, as Cuban immigrant and Mujerista theologian Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz calls it, the struggle of life on the margins of our communities. I tell my students that many of these folks are undocumented but find here in East Austin a place where they can work and earn a living, which they do by serving us.

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Out of curiosity I once asked the waitress who regularly serves me lunch where she came from. She told me Veracruz, Mexico, on the gulf coast. I asked her if she had crossed the border in Brownsville, Texas, or some other border town. She smiled and looked away as she told me in Spanish, "por alli," "thereabouts." I took that to mean that she crossed the border with the assistance of a coyote, a paid smuggler who helped her to cross the Rio Grande River, or perhaps she swam across the river on her own. This is not an uncommon occurrence in the Texas borderlands. In fact, crossing the river under the cover of darkness was the way my father and his parents and extended family crossed the Rio Grande in 1918 when they fled the Mexican Revolution. Like this waitress who serves me lunch each week in East Austin, there are many others who serve us, not only in the many fine restaurants and hotels of cities like San Antonio and Austin but throughout the country. Last summer, while visiting Manhattan, I met two waiters who shared similar stories with me while serving me at upscale restaurants in Central Park.

In order to begin to answer the question of how the church embodies the doctrine of the imago Dei in the Southwest I felt it necessary to give you this panoramic view of an immigrant reality that we as a theological community and church find difficult to dismiss and that we attempt to address in the preparation and formation of our clergy. We encourage our students to "read" the city as a text for theological study and critical reflection. We assist them to develop critical thinking skills, to ask the difficult doctrinal questions that arise from living in our particular context:

* What does it mean to be created in the image and likeness of God in the context of the Southwest, where immigrants and many native folk are often not seen at all, even as they construct our roads, build our homes, serve us in restaurants, and live close enough to be our neighbors?

* What does it mean to be a seminary in mission in this context so that all people, regardless of ethnic heritage, immigrant status, or native language, are valued and esteemed as children of God?

* What does it mean for the church to embody a doctrine that affirms the life-creating and life-affirming nature of the Creator who from the very beginning of the creation narrative calls it "very good" (Gen 1:31)?

These and other questions naturally arise from reading the biblical text of the imago Dei (Gen 1:26) within our context of mission and ministry.

Perspectives on the doctrine of the imago Dei

I want to offer some potential insights into these questions that might shed light on how the church might respond to the invisible community and to those who are seeking answers to these and other questions. There have been many and diverse interpretations of the image of God throughout history, but most scholars today generally agree that it refers to the profound value and sanctity of human life as well as the potential for relationship with the Creator. Claus Westermann indicates that to be created in the image and likeness of God does not mean a particular human quality (such as reason, which was especially exalted during the Enlightenment); rather, it concerns the purpose of relationship and responsibility for the creation. He observes that the Creator creates a being analogous to the Creator, to whom the Creator can speak, and who will listen and speak to the Creator. This purpose "remains true despite all human differences; every person is created in the image of God." (2) Further, humanity is given a special task and is gifted with human dignity, a value of high esteem and respect that is intrinsic to human being. This value was of particular interest for the early church.

For Philip Hefner, the human being is created in the image of God as a "created co-creator" with a high destiny. This destiny is essential to the world if the human is to bear the mark of the Creator. For Hefner, the ability to make self-aware, self-critical decisions, act on those decisions, and take responsibility for them are characteristics that constitute the image of God in humanity. This includes the freedom to conceive of actions and to carry them out--a freedom that is grounded and finds meaning in a relationship with God. The ability to reflect on this freedom and actions is what allows the human agent as a created co-creator to be responsible for the creation and to discover one's likeness to God and one's origin and destiny in God. (3)

The early church tradition affirmed that the human being was created in the image and likeness of God and construed the imago Dei symbol as an inclusive concept that affirmed the human worth, dignity, and nobility of all persons and of the marginalized in particular. Elaine Pagels observes that this interpretation of the doctrine was "good news" for the conquered and enslaved people of the Roman Empire. All of the marginalized--women, children, slaves, and foreigners--were esteemed as members of the human family. They were valued as part of the good creation of God. (4)

Members of the diverse Hispanic and Latina/o theological community recover this perspective of the church in their quest to affirm their own unique creation in the image and likeness of God. These voices offer critical insight and nuances of the image of God that reveal that the concept is not static or confined to the historical formulations of their traditions but is fluid as a live organism and symbol that seeks to express itself in new, creative, inclusive, and life-affirming ways.

Brazilian theologian Vitor Westhelle offers a perspective from the social context of the poor and powerless of Latin America that finds resonance within the context of the Southwest. Westhelle interprets the imago Dei as a praxis of love, which was the work of the Christ and his disciples. He maintains that the poor and the powerless of history cannot affirm their creation (of themselves or of the world around them) when they are searching for food in city dumps. This is a reality that our students at the Lutheran and Episcopal seminaries witnessed when we visited the city dump of Matamoros, Mexico, on the border with Brownsville, Texas, during a January cultural immersion experience.

Westhelle reminds us of the reality of our neighbors in the two-thirds world and observes that to be created in the image of God is to participate in affirming the dignity of those who do not have a vital space to exist. For Westhelle, this justice praxis component of the imago Dei reflects the nature and imperative of God. (5)

Hispanic and Latina theologians and ethicists articulate the significance of the high destiny and task of the human agent who is imago Dei from within the experience of the community. Isasi-Diaz has identified this special task of the human agent as the historical project of the "kindom" of God in which the Latina community participates as historical subjects through the gift and responsibility of moral agency that is exercised in the struggle for justice. She notes that we are all kin to each other when we struggle for a more just and equitable community. To struggle for justice is to be imago Dei. She notes that one cannot call oneself a Christian and not struggle for justice, as justice is an inherent principle of the kin-dom of God. One participates in the kin-dom of God not as an isolated individual, a concept that is contrary to Hispanic and indigenous self-understanding, but as highly valued members of a community who share a common life in solidarity with others who struggle against systemic oppression and for the common good of the community. Isasi-Diaz speaks for many who continue to come to the U.S. because of geopolitical and global economic systems. She joins the cause of those who struggle daily not only to survive economically but for a more just social order. She and others from within her tradition understand that many who appear to be invisible are not in fact nameless but have a name, a family, a faith life, and a place of origin that is dear to their hearts. (6)

This is a sentiment shared by Virgilio Elizondo, founder of the Mexican-American Cultural Center of San Antonio. He writes about his experience growing up in this city as a Mexican-American and being the subject of ridicule and of racial stereotypes because his culture and Spanish language were not valued. He has written extensively on the experience of the native Mexican-American population and the many Latino immigrants who visit his church, San Fernando Cathedral, where they find a welcoming place--so welcoming that Rabbi Samuel Stahl of this city has called this historic church "the cathedral of the people."

In his latest book, A God of Incredible Surprises, Elizondo writes that "with each newborn child, the image and likeness of God are once again made visible. Or, as our ancient Mesoamerican ancestors would say, Creation is once again renewed." (7) Further, in the man Jesus the truth of God regarding the human is revealed. In Jesus the mestizo or mix-blood peasant of Galilee, God became the nothing of the world, so that the nothing and everyone else may know that no one, no one human being, is inferior to others. This, Elizondo observes, is indeed "good news" for everyone, but especially for the "born-nothings" of this world. Because every human being is created in the image of God, to disregard anyone, to despise anyone, and even more to exploit, enslave, and rob the weak and the poor are offenses against the Creator, for everyone is created with equal dignity, value, and beauty. (8)

Ethicist Ismael Garcia, a Puerto Rican of the diaspora, offers yet another perspective of the imago Dei. Garcia teaches at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary not far from our campus. He identifies the special task given the human at creation as the creative agency of the human being who is the image of God as a creative agent. This agency empowers the Hispanic community to pursue the vision or historical project of creating a more inclusive and compassionate community. Human dignity and responsibility are exemplified in the ethics of care of the community. For Garcia, dignity (dignidad) is a gift in the act of creation. It is relational in character and irrevocable. (9) It can be trampled upon, but no one can take it away. (10)

Historian Justo Gonzalez shares a similar view when he observes that creation in the image and likeness of God means the exercise of the creative power and love of God after whom we have been created. As love, the nature of God is being-for-others. To be fully human is thus to be for others in a praxis of love and care. (11)

Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of the imago Dei is the language component that characterizes its essence, for it is through language that one participates with the divine in co-creating and naming the world and God. In addition to acts of justice and ethical care and concern for others, to be imago Dei gives us the ability to know and to speak to God as Diosito/Daddy, the caring and endearing God who knows us intimately and cares for us. This is particularly significant for the immigrant and native Spanish-speaking and bilingual communities that now constitute a majority population in many of our cities including San Antonio. As Westermann indicates, "implicit in being created in the image of God is the capacity for language." The history of a people emerges from a common language that expresses the community's self-understanding and concept of God.

Westermann's observations resonate with the Hispanic perspective on the imago Dei for several reasons. First, language, or the ability to speak and name the world, is derivative of the imago Dei as a gift of God. (12) The language of the family of origin is a gift of a historical and theological worldview. (13) The gift of language also confers an identity that is nurtured and affirmed through the culture and history of the family and the community. It allows the beneficiaries of the gift to name the world and thereby to co-create with the Creator and Donor of the gift. It is through the capacity and gift of language implicit in the imago Dei and made explicit in our language of concern and care that the community is empowered to be co-creators with God as historical subjects and as agents of love and justice. It is through the language of the people that the ethics of care is embodied. Language as a form of communication allows one to connect with the other who may be a displaced immigrant.

Language also allows the community to worship God in the language of the heart. For the Hispanic community the Spanish language is the language of prayer and of communion with God. Through the Spanish language we know God and hear God in the still small voice and in the coritos, the little chorus songs that are popular in our worship. (14) To ignore this gift or to attempt to eradicate it in the interests of national cohesion or church unity segregates and devalues native peoples.

Second, language represents history. The gift of language allows connection to the past. It gives the Hispanic immigrant community its sense of history and specificity within a culture that is not its own. It nurtures the cultural memory of faith and reminds the community that it has a place of belonging in the heart of God.

It also provides connection to the larger Hispanic community throughout the United States so that a sense of solidarity and community arises wherever the Spanish language is spoken. It helps to end the isolation that many immigrants feel when they enter this country and do not speak English. It reminds them that they have a common history and familiar roots. It confers dignidad, dignity. Ismael Garcia makes this point when he writes that the Spanish language for the Hispanic/Latino community is more than a tool of communication. It is central to our identity. Furthermore, he observes, "to let it go for the sake of social acceptance and advancement, which are quite uncertain, is to contribute to the process of self-annihilation and of diminishing of our dignity." (16) To deny it is to violate the imago Dei.

These theologians remind us that the Hispanic community views itself as a people graced and empowered by a dignidad that is a gift of God and affirmed in a communal construct of the imago Dei. This symbol is about familia, family, which is a fluid and expansive concept for the Hispanic community. Familia includes more than blood relatives. It is the wider family of God who commune together around a common table as God has cared for us in and through the life and praxis of Jesus of Nazareth. Familia includes the displaced persons of the community who worship with us in the familiar language of the heart. This language expresses the dialectic of the human and divine encounter in a relationship of care that crosses fronteras, or boundaries, such as the U.S.--Mexican border.

In San Antonio and throughout Texas, the distinct language of the people is a mestizo dialect known as "Tex-Mex," a form of "Spanglish" that is typical of nepantla, that hybrid and liminal place where diverse cultures meet to form a new culture and a new creation. In this city this encounter of diversity is celebrated annually as Fiesta, a week-long celebration that occurs every spring and that Elizondo has described as a sign of the eschatological hope of the community. (16) During this week folks of many different backgrounds gather as one big familia to celebrate the victory of life over death and to affirm the present hope for a better future when all cultures and peoples will be a part of the great eschatological Fiesta. (17) In a similar manner, when Hispanic folks hear their own native language and dialects spoken in our churches and seminaries, as we do in the streets of San Antonio and Austin, and hear our God-talk in the special coritos, prayers and confessions of the church, as we do at our seminaries, then the church will indeed be a sign of that welcoming place where difference and diversity are valued and where identity is affirmed and celebrated as embodied imago Dei.

Putting flesh on the imago Dei

To answer the questions raised by this doctrine in our context of ministry the imago Dei must be enfleshed--that is, embodied in a way that does not do violence to any culture or tradition but that affirms all cultures and traditions. Language is key here. To embody in the Spanish language means to encarnar, literally, to put on flesh. Our scriptural tradition sheds light on this notion of embodiment. John 1:14 reminds us that "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us." This, I believe, is John's way of saying that the Christ of faith put on particularity. The Word, or Logos, put on social location, specifically marginality as a Galilean Jew. As the son of peasants, Jesus of Nazareth experienced the plight of immigrants who flee their countries of origin to escape all kinds of persecution. To put flesh on the imago Dei in our context is to see God encarnado, made flesh, in Jesus the homeless Jew and in those who come to us in like manner. Our context beckons us to examine his life from the perspective of the fronteras, the margins and middle zone where Jesus lived and ministered. Immigrants and native folks relate well to this image of God as Jesus the immigrant and homeless Jew because their experience is similar.

Jesus was born in nepantla, a middle zone where cultures and peoples met and intermingled. He probably spoke a form of mestizo Greek and Aramaic similar to our own hybrid language of the borderlands. For Lutherans, whose confessional mantra is sola gratia, sola fide, and sola scriptura, the confession of John serves to highlight not only a Christocentric statement of faith but also a cultural embodiment of divinity made flesh in the person of Jesus the Galilean mestizo. For Hispanic Lutherans in particular, the Word made flesh in a mestizo and homeless Jew is both meaningful and affirming, for his life mirrors their own in so many ways. In nepantla, the Word puts on flesh in the lives and experience of the immigrants and native peoples who have lived on the margins of the frontera, the borderlands of the United States and Mexico.

To put flesh on the image of God that is the church in nepantla, I want to point to some signifiers that I observed in the praxis of my own ministry while serving a parish in San Antonio several years ago. In borderland regions where we find ourselves, the church embodies the imago Dei in acts of service to the stranger, in hospitality that welcomes all people to our sacred spaces, and in acts of justice for the poor and the voiceless. While serving as a pastor of a predominantly Anglo community, I took part in forming the South Side San Antonio Alliance, an organization of area churches that sought to serve the neighbor in visible and tangible ways. Churches of various traditions and confessions acted together to serve our community in such ministries as meals on wheels, youth advocacy, gang prevention, and advocacy for the undocumented and those without a voice. We took steps to make our worship culturally relevant and to incorporate the language of the people of our community in small but significant ways. We made hospitality a primary focus of our self-understanding as a church in mission.

We also took part in the annual Thanksgiving Day service and meal for the community that the Jimenez family of San Antonio holds annually for anyone and everyone who may be homeless or without family during the holidays. Along with many volunteers we served hundreds of meals to the homeless and the undocumented, the poor, the lonely, and the forgotten. Everyone was served. No one was asked for documents. In this fiesta, citizenship status or the green card was of no consequence. This was table fellowship at its best and a sign of the kin-dom of God among us. It crossed denominational and cultural differences, ethnicities, social classes, political affiliations, and language barriers. This was a fiesta of the citizenship of the kin-dom of God, where borders and barriers do not exclude anyone, where everyone is invited.

In Austin, one sees the imago Dei visibly embodied in acts of service and hospitality, such as at St. John/San Juan Lutheran Church, where both Anglo and Hispanic laity serve by offering their gifts of worship and leadership. Central Americans who fled the war in El Salvador years ago find in this predominantly Anglo community a place of cultural affirmation and a safe place of belonging. Their unique gifts and leadership are valued and recognized as gifts of service in the kin-dom of God. Our seminary students also offer their gifts of service and talents at Iglesia Episcopal San Francisco de Asis in South Austin and at Casa Marianela in East Austin, a community house for the undocumented. In these and many other ways the church embodies the image of God as a sign of hope and care in the community.

At ETSS and LSPS we live out our call to common mission in ways that embody a spirit of cooperation. We have worked together for 28 years in an attempt to make theological education contextually relevant and challenging. We have done this by actively listening to the other, at times offering suggestions and correctives and at times receiving them. Most recently we have made concerted efforts to reflect a strong sense of contextual relevance in our curriculum. With the assistance of a grant, ETSS invited Latino and Latina faculty from other seminaries to partner with the faculty in a curriculum-review project so as to ensure that the voices of the Hispanic community were reflected in each discipline. At LSPS, our faculty composition reflects this commitment. Many of our students, especially those from underrepresented communities, have appreciated the intentional effort of the seminaries to allow their distinct voices and experience to be heard and celebrated. Together we have celebrated these voices in liturgy as well as in theological reflection, praxis, and proclamation. Though at times not without struggle, the experience as a whole has proved to be rewarding, enriching, and transforming. We have enriched each other as we have learned to celebrate our own unique gifts and traditions with a strong sense of respect for the goodness of the other who is in the image and likeness of God.

The imago Dei as embodied esperanza/hope

To conclude, the questions that the symbol of the imago Dei raises for us in the context of theological education in the Southwest leave us with both a challenge and a hope for a more dignified present and future for all people. We are invited to see and hear our invisible neighbors as the other for whom Christ lived and died and rose so that, in serving them in acts of justice, we as a seminary community and as a church might embody the image of God in the world. We are challenged to enter into relationships of care and concern for the other such as those modeled for us in the life and praxis of Jesus the mestizo Jew of nepantla so that those who are on the margins of our communities might have hope for a more dignified and abundant life and ministry. We ourselves are challenged to go to the fronteras, where Jesus told his disciples that they would find him, and there to enter into and experience the ambiguity of life lived in the middle zones. We are challenged to see the other, to really see and hear and serve the immigrant and native other who is our neighbor, so that the invisible ones who have been created in the image and likeness of God might be made visible, and together as familia en Cristo we might celebrate the embodied hope/esperanza that is our promise in community.

Javier R. Alanis

Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest Austin, Texas jalanis@lsps.edu

1. I use the terms Hispanic and Latino/a interchangeably throughout this paper in a partial attempt to reflect the self-understanding of the community. These terms, however, are incomplete descriptors, because they do not reflect the indigenous and African roots of the community that are often denied and suppressed. In the complex history of the Americas the conquered and enslaved other was dehumanized by the use of racial categories. These categories continue to leave their mark of ambiguity on the community. I point this out in order to remind us that all people of whatever origin are created in the image and likeness of God. The term Latin American refers to the many immigrants from throughout the hemisphere who are now our neighbors. Members of my parish from Central America prefer to use their national identity as their primary descriptor rather than to adopt the U.S. term Hispanic that lumps all Spanish-speaking groups into one category.

2. Claus Westermann, Genesis: A Practical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 10-11.

3. Philip Hefner, "Fourth Locus, The Creation," Christian Dogmatics, vol. 1, ed. Carl Braaten and Robert W. Jenson (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984), 325-27.

4. Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (New York: Random House, 1989), 56-57, 100-101.

5. Vitor Westhelle, "Creation Motifs in the Search for a Vital Space: A Latin American Perspective," Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from the Underside, ed. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite and Mary Potter Engel (San Francisco: Harper, 1990), 128-40.

6. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, En La Lucha, In the Struggle: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993). For an excellent study of the spiritual lives of an immigrant community, see Daniel G. Groody, Border of Death, Valley of Life: An Immigrant Journey of Heart and Spirit (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002).

7. Virgilio Elizondo, A God of Incredible Surprises: Jesus of Galilee (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), 42.

8. Elizondo, A God of Incredible Surprises, 41.

9. Ismael Garcia, Dignidad: Ethics through Hispanic Eyes (Nashville: Abingdon, 1997), 130-31.

10. Ismael Garcia, "Ismael Garcia: Speaking of Dignity." Insights: The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary 114, no. 1 (1998): 19-23.

11. Justo Gonzalez, Manana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective (Nashville: Abingdon, 1990), 131-38.

12. Westermann, Genesis, 11.

13. See Gonzalez, Manana, 75-87.

14. See Edwin Aponte, "Coritos as Active Symbols in Latino Protestant Popular Religion." Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology 2, no. 4 (1995): 57-66.

15. Garcia, Dignidad, 102-4.

16. Virgilio Elizondo, The Future is Mestizo: Life Where Cultures Meet (Bloomington, IN: Meyer-Stone Books, 1988), 48-50.

17. See, for example, Justo L. Gonzalez, "Credo," Hispanic Creed, in Mil Voces para Celebrar: Himnario Metodista (Abingdon, 1996), 70.
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Title Annotation:theological studies
Author:Alanis, Javier R.
Publication:Currents in Theology and Mission
Date:Dec 1, 2005
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