Mapping Public Theology: Beyond Culture, Identity, and Difference

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9781563383915: Mapping Public Theology: Beyond Culture, Identity, and Difference
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At its best, theology can speak to a large and diverse audience, providing a social and political vision that pulls people together as they work toward worthy public goals. But now, at a time when such a broad vision is badly needed, specific theologies such as liberation theology, process theology, and feminist theology seem to offer narrowing and even divisive social and political visions.In Mapping Public Theology, Valentin explores the ways that one of these theologies—Hispanic/Latino theology—can overcome its fractious nature and strengthen its relevance to society and politics in general. He provides a model for mapping a public theology that transcends the borders. Rather than embracing a kind of identity politics, Valentin says, Hispanic/Latino theology needs to move beyond narrow categories to examine and speak to larger issues such as the political economy and classism, engagement with public policy, and racial and ethnic social relations. Hispanic/Latino theology must use its resources to address a wider audience on social justice and should provide broader visions of social and political emancipation. Benjamin Valentin is Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture, Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, Massachusetts. and co-editor of The Ties that Bind.

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Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture

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"This book is clear proof that finally a new generation of Latino/a theologians is emerging. Valentin's call for a public theology, while building on the foundation of earlier Latino/a works, may well set the agenda for this new generarion." — Justo L. Gonzalez, Historian of Christian Theology (Justo L. Gonzalez)

This Valentinian map guides us into a daunting terrain : that of theworld which our competing discourses of justice share unwillingly butunavoidably. In a time of predatory globalization and U.S.empire-building, theological discourses cannot afford the luxury ofmere difference. Valentin's urgently needed but encouragingly soberanalysis, concretized but not bounded by his superb case study of thedevelopment of Hispanic theologies in the U.S., lucidly guides andrehearses us in the practice of a coalitional public. Catherine Keller, Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew University.Author of Apocalypse Now and Then, and Face of the Deep. (Catherine Keller)

This is a book with an eye toward the future for Latino/a ethnic empowerment and the role of religion in that process. It is a book that bridges the world of theology to other disciplines making the case for the political potential in pan-ethnic identity formations and the public discourse that shapes them.Milagros Pena, Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, University of Florida (Milagros Pena,)

"Mapping Public Theology is a major contribution to the North American theological conversation that deserves to be read by a very wide public— from lay persons, pastors, and religious educators with emancipatory concerns to academic theologians navigating the broader social discourse.—Rubén Rosario Rodriguez, for The Princeton Theological Seminary Bulletin, Fall 2003 (Rubén Rosario Rodriguez)

“...the treatment of the Hispanic/Latino community is clear and quite recommendable.”-Religious Studies Review, April, July 2004 (Religious Studies Review)

"This book is clear proof that finally a new generation of Latino/a theologians is emerging. Valentin's call for a public theology, while building on the foundation of earlier Latino/a works, may well set the agenda for this new generarion." — Justo L. Gonzalez, Historian of Christian Theology (Sanford Lakoff)

"Mapping Public Theology is a major contribution to the North American theological conversation that deserves to be read by a very wide public— from lay persons, pastors, and religious educators with emancipatory concerns to academic theologians navigating the broader social discourse.—Rubén Rosario Rodriguez, for The Princeton Theological Seminary Bulletin, Fall 2003 (Sanford Lakoff)

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