Across Borders: Latin Perspectives in the Americas Reshaping Religion, Theology, and Life

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9780739175330: Across Borders: Latin Perspectives in the Americas Reshaping Religion, Theology, and Life

While work in theology and religious studies by scholars in Latin America and by Latino/a scholars in the United States has made substantial contributions to the current scholarship in the field, there are few projects where scholars from these various contexts are working together. Across Borders: Latin Perspectives in the Americas Reshaping Religion, Theology, and Life is unique, as it brings leading scholars from both worlds into the conversation. The chapters of this book deal with the complexities of solidarity, the intersections of the popular and the religious, the example of Afro-Cubanisms, the meaning of popular liberation struggles, Hispanic identity formation at the U.S. border, and the unique promise of studying religion and theology in the tensions between North and South in the Americas.

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About the Author:

Nancy Elizabeth Bedford is a native of Argentina and is the Georgia Harkness Professor of Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston). Among her books are Nuestra Fe (with Guillermo Hansen; Buenos Aires: ISEDET, 2008) and La porfía de la resurrección. Ensayos desde el feminismo teológico latinoamericano (Buenos Aires: Kairós, 2009). Her current book project is a theological commentary on Galatians for the Belief series with Westminster John Knox Press. Her research interests focus on global feminist theories and theologies, theologies in migration and intercultural theologies, liberating readings of Scripture, and the rearticulation of classical doctrinal loci from the perspective of critical and poetic reason.

Michelle A. Gonzalez (Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami. She received her Ph.D. in Systematic and Philosophical Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California in 2001. Her research and teaching interests include Latino/a, Latin American, and Feminist Theologies, as well as inter-disciplinary work in Afro-Caribbean Studies. She is the author of Sor Juana: Beauty and Justice in the Americas (Orbis Books, 2003), Afro-Cuban Theology: Religion, Race, Culture and Identity (University Press of Florida, 2006), Created in God’s Image: An Introduction to Feminist Theological Anthropology (Orbis Books, 2007), Embracing Latina Spirituality: A Woman’s Perspective (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2009), Caribbean Religious History (co-authored with Ennis Edmonds, NYU Press, 2010) and Shopping: Christian Explorations of Daily Living (Fortress Press, 2010). She is currently working on a monograph exploring liberation theologies in light of the study of lived religion in the Americas (forthcoming from NYU Press, 2013).

Néstor O. Míguez, doctor in Theology (New Testament) and postgraduate studies in Social and Political Anthropology, is Professor at the Instituto Universitario ISEDET in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the areas of New Testament and Systematic Theology. He has taught and lectured internationally at many universities, associations, and theological schools. He is the former President of the Forum for Ecumenical Theological Education of Latin America and the Caribbean and the President of the Argentinian Federation of Evangelical Churches. Among his recent books are The Practice of Hope (Fortress Press, 2012), Jesús del Pueblo (Buenos Aires, Kairós/Red del Camino, 2011), and Beyond the Spirit of the Empire, co-authored with Joerg Rieger y Jung Mo Sung, (SCM Press, London, 2009).

Jung Mo Sung is Professor in the Graduate Program in Religious Studies and Dean of the School of Humanities and the Law School at the Universidade Metodista of São Paulo, Brazil. He is author of seventeen books, among them, Desire, Market and Religion, Reclaiming Liberation Theology (SCM Press, 2007); Subject, Capitalism and Religion: Horizons of Power in Complex Societies, New Approaches to Religion and Power (Palgrave Macmillan 2011); and Beyond the Spirit of the Empire: Theology and Politics in a New Key, Reclaiming Liberation Theology, co-authored with Joerg Rieger and Néstor Míguez (SCM Press, London, 2009).

Joerg Rieger is Wendland-Cook Professor of Constructive Theology at Perkins School of Theology, SMU. His work seeks to bring together theology and the struggles for justice and liberation that mark our age. He is the author of numerous books, among them Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude, co-authored with Kwok Pui-lan, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2012), Traveling (Fortress, 2011), Globalization and Theology (Abingdon, 2010), No Rising Tide: Theology, Economics, and the Future (2009), Beyond the Spirit of Empire: Theology and Politics in a New Key, Reclaiming Liberation Theology, co-authored with Jung Mo Sung and Néstor Míguez (SCM Press, 2009), and Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (2007). Rieger lectures nationally and internationally. He is on the steering committee of Jobs with Justice in North Texas and is co-founder of the Workers’ Rights Board in the Dallas area.

Miguel A. De La Torre is Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies at Iliff School of Theology. He has published over twenty-five books, five of which have won national book awards. An expert on immigration, and a constant participant in the work of No More Deaths and BorderLinks, he has authored Trails of Hope and Terror: Testimonies on Immigration (Orbis Books, 2009), and is currently producing a documentary on the current immigration crises. He also edited the two-volume encyclopedia Hispanic American Religious Cultures (ABC-CLIO, 2009).

Review:

Rarely have scholars of theology and religious studies from North and South America collaborated on a project that argues for reimagining the study of religion. . . .an acute attention to the power differentials at work in the United States and Latin America inform these writings. . . .[the book's] quality owes much to the visionary and distinguished scholars published here. . . .and their unflinching commitment to truth-telling about what many would rather not think about. (Theological Studies)

A timely and on target book. Well-tied and well organized, this collection of essays on “border thinking” from the south and the north of the Americas, calls for “deep solidarity” and a nomadic understanding of a God who is weak in power and strong in love. The book offers compelling arguments for a migratory epistemology, as well as moving testimonies on the many dimensions of what crossing means, geographically or culturally. Its leaves enticingly invite the reader to cross the borders of her or his own comfort zone to meet danger, but also the promise of liberation. A most welcome book and not to mention long overdue! (Vitor Westhelle, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago)

Offering a fresh application of post-colonial theory, Across Borders examines connections between religion, race, ethnicity, and class to understand and confront the neocolonialism of our globalized era. Through transnational methodological approaches from Latin American and U.S. Latino/as realties, especially deep solidarity and border thinking, the authors expand the meaning of the subaltern and challenge dominant assumptions about the division between the sacred and the profane. This book invites new approaches to religion, theology, race, and class for action in church and society. (Edwin David Aponte Ph.D, Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University, Dean and Professor of Religion and Culture)

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