Issue 18 • 2021
Editorial | Issue 18Download
Almost a year and a half ago, the world embarked on a rollercoaster of social uncertainty and death caused by the then-novel Coronavirus. Since its inception, COVID-19 has been part of the common parlance of the world. Knowing about the rapid spread of the Coronavirus was made possible by the exponential growth of communications technology and a new generation of people whose preferred mode of interaction is through digital devices. Through that same technology, we saw the emergence of the struggles of the Black Lives Matter movement. We found out about the death of several Black and racialized peoples at the hands of the police and immigration authorities. We learned about the profound systemic social, political, and economic inequities that shape our societies, including access to COVID-19 vaccination. And we also got to watch and listen, in real-time, the captivating and challenging poem of Amanda Gorman, as she spoke during the inauguration of newly elected USA President Joe Biden. We found out about multiple changes in the political arena across the world and the unjust war that Israel carries against Palestinians. Our digital devices also allowed us to be virtual eyewitnesses of the unmarked burial site where 215 children were buried on the grounds of the Catholic Indian Residential schools at Kamloops, British Colombia. Meanwhile, human existence is increasingly threatened by the potential of an environmental apocalypse and by the emergence of super viruses resistant to drugs.Read MoreCollapse
The news about incidents, tragedies, or emerging movements in the world quickly become old news because of the neck-break speed at which we are bombarded with information. At no point in human history have we been aware of the fast-changing pace of reality and of our cultural traditions to the degree we are now. It seems we have become enthralled by the “latest” and the “newest” piece of news and information by staying connected. Yet, this same wealth and accessibility to communications technology also contribute to our reduced ability to concentrate, to pay attention, and to connect at a personal human level. These many questions are undoubtedly the result of the new reality we confront as the world has continued to shrink and as we become painfully aware of our own destructive power in this planet of ours. These multiple issues I mention are not just topics for further discussion and exploration; they are part of the very processes of the undergoing cultural reconfiguration we are experiencing across the globe. These topics are also part of the complex array of interconnected social forces emerging as the world becomes more aware of the legacy of colonization, and the efforts of collective struggles for justice around the globe.
Amidst this jungle of social issues, cultural concerns, and human challenges, religious devotion and spiritualities seem to be gaining ground. But these are no longer dominated by Christianity. A new interreligious ferment is emerging as new digital churches, mosques, and centers of spirituality are popping up everywhere, even while scandals of religious leaders continue to emerge, and entire tragedies can be directly connected to religion and theology. It seems we are finally coming to grips with the fact that theology can be counted as yet another accomplice in the colonizing project. For religious scholars and theologians, it is no longer business as usual. As people wrestle with the many losses of loved ones whose lives have been cut short due to the Coronavirus, questions about the meaning of life are resurfacing. Not surprisingly, liberation theologies and decolonizing attitudes are gaining ground with renewed force in their dis-covering of the multiplicity of issues of which theology must be mindful, besides being aware of the necessity to think about the reality on the ground—where people live life and weave their religious traditions in their everyday life.
On that note, and as part of this mix of emerging issues today, we are happy to offer you the 2021 issue of Perspectivas. Each of the articles helps us amplify our visions and understanding of the Latina/o/x religious experience in response to contemporary issues pertinent to these communities. In the first article, Neomi DeAnda presents a rich interlacing of historical events, mythological accounts, and popular religious customs in the devotion of María de la Leche in two different sites. De Anda retraces some of the historical aspects that contributed to the emergence of such devotions, how they have changed over time, and how they have endured the test of time. Indeed, Latinas/os/xs are not unfamiliar with hope and hopelessness, as the second article by César Baldelomar’s exemplifies. Taking a robust philosophical approach, he engages the field of ethics and the pervasive emphasis of a Christian hope for an otherworldly reality. Baldelomar challenges romantic and utopic notions of hope with what he calls a “realist” stance, claiming the rich tradition of Afro-pessimism and Latina/o/x hopelessness. He draws on these rich traditions to reorient our ethical imagination toward future possibilities. It is precisely that future that Hanna Kang, in the third article, invites us to reconsider even as we revise our past. Much in line with the work of Breny Mendoza by claiming the Arabs as part of the mix of mestizaje in Honduras, and much in the way of Ricardo Feierstein claiming the Jewish presence in Argentina, Kang amplifies our vision of mestizaje yet again by registering the Asian presence both in Latin America and among Latinas/os/xs. She further broadens our vision of this contested term carving out spaces where we can reclaim the Asian presence among us.
In this 2021 issue of Perspectivas, we are particularly honored to also offer the presentations celebrating Peter Mena’s HTI 2020 Book of the year award. We are happy to provide these presentations by Jacqueline Hidalgo, Luis Rivera Pagán, and Kristi Upson-Saia, including Mena’s response to these presentations. Each of these presentations and Mena’s response illustrate the growing edges of Latina/o/x theologies and their versatility in engaging critical theoretical frameworks and ancient texts.
We offer this issue as a resource and invitation to continue our work across academic and non-academic plains.
Néstor Medina, Senior Editor.
Images of María de la Leche 1600- PresentAbstract:By Neomi De Anda
This paper traces two images of nursing and lactating Madonnas and their devotions from two geographical locations currently parts of the USA with Spanish Colonial histories to provide a more complicated history.Read MoreCollapse / Download Issue
In the first, Nuestra Señora de Belén (Our Lady of Bethlehem) in Puerto Rico presents a devotion to the image that has be constantly present on the island since the image first appeared. The second location examines Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of Milk and Happy Delivery) in St. Augustine, Florida. The paper also highlights an overview of times Pope Francis has used this image in his own teaching. Finally, the paper presents themes which may be considered from these images.Imágenes de María de la leche 1600—al presenteResumen:Por Neomi De Anda, Ph.D.
Este artículo traza dos imágenes de Marías de la leche y sus devociones desde dos ubicaciones geográficas que actualmente son partes de los EE. UU. con historias coloniales españolas para proporcionar una historia más complicada.Leer MásLeer Menos / Descargar este ejemplar
En la primera, Nuestra Señora de Belén en Puerto Rico presenta una devoción a la imagen que ha estado constantemente presente en la isla desde que apareció por primera vez. La segunda ubicación examina Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto en St. Augustine, Florida. El ensayo también destaca una descripción general de instancias en que el Papa Francisco ha utilizado esta imagen en su propia enseñanza. Finalmente, el artículo presenta temas que pueden considerarse a partir de estas imágenes.
A Reimagined Ethical Imagination: Considering Epistemological Nihilism and Afro-Pessimism as a Corrective to Ethics of HopeAbstract:
By César “CJ” Baldelomar, LL.M., J.D.
This essay argues that to imagine truly different (and transgressive) ethical selves and worlds, hope (as presented in Western secular and religious narratives) should be decentered, in order for ethical characters to faceRead MoreCollapse / Download Issue
reality without utopian illusions of the future as touted by humanist and liberal myths of progress and by Christian salvation narratives. How would ethical imagination be different were it to hold hopeful and wishful thinking in tension with a realist and pessimist stance that takes seriously melancholia, the tenets of Afro-pessimism, and the realities of Latinx hopelessness? More importantly, how would ethical imagination shift were it to embrace (rather than simplistically glide over) the specter of nihilism, that is, that the world truly might be meaningless and collectively progressing toward catastrophe at the hands of the world’s most privileged?A Reimagined Ethical Imagination: Considering Epistemological Nihilism and Afro-Pessimism as a Corrective to Ethics of HopeResumen:
Por César “CJ” Baldelomar, LL.M., J.D.
Este ensayo argumenta que para imaginar seres y mundos verdaderamente diferentes (y transgresores) la esperanza (como se presenta en las narrativas seculares y religiosas occidentales) deberá ser descentralizada, para que los personajes éticos puedan enfrentarLeer MásLeer Menos / Descargar este ejemplar
la realidad sin ilusiones utópicas del futuro, como lo proponen los mitos humanistas y liberales del progreso y por narrativas cristianas de salvación. Él pregunta ¿cómo sería la imaginación ética diferente si mantuviese el pensamiento esperanzador en tensión con una postura realista y pesimista que toma en serio la melancolía, los principios del afro-pesimismo, y las realidades de desesperanza latina/o/x? Más importante aún, ¿cómo cambiaría la imaginación ética si abrazara (en lugar de deslizarse simplistamente) el espectro del nihilismo, es decir, que el mundo verdaderamente pudiera carecer de sentido y progresar colectivamente hacía la catástrofe a manos de los/as/xs más privilegiadas/os/xs del mundo?
Mestizos/as with an Asian FaceAbstract:By Hanna Kang
This paper focuses on the identities of the so-called Asian Latinos/as through the analytical lens of mestizaje. Mestizaje is one of the most exploredRead MoreCollapse / Download Issue
terrains in Latino/a studies and is also a fundamental analytical lens through which the history and the realities of Latinos/as and Latin Americans come to light. Surprisingly, however, Asian Latinos/as are almost absent from the discourse on mestizaje and even from the general perception when people think about Latinos/as. The intention behind this paper is to create a platform for the voices of Asian Latinos/as as mestizos/as, which have gone unheard for a long time, both within academic discourse and in the minds of Latino/a communities. In doing so, the concept of mestizaje as a universal category that alludes to a harmonious coming together of two or more cultures and that promotes the inclusion of races while radically rejecting racial violence is demystified. Instead, the argument is for a conceptual category of mestizaje that is intentionally messy, ever-changing, and open-ended.Mestiço/as com um rosto ÀsiaticoResumen:Por Hanna Kang
Este ensaio foca nas identidades dos chamados Asiáticos Latinos/as através do prisma analítico da mestiçagem. Mestiçagem é um dos campos mais exploradosLeer MásLeer Menos / Descargar este ejemplar
nos estudos Latinos/as e constitui prisma fundamental pela qual a historia e realidades de Latinos/as vem a tona. Surpreendentemente, no entanto, Asiáticos Latinos/as estão quase sempre ausentes dos discursos sobre mestiçagem e até da percepção geral quando se discute a respeito do que é ser Latinos/as. O propósito deste ensaio é criar uma plataforma para dar voz aos Asiáticos Latinos/as acentuando suas identidades mestiços/as, que ficaram por bastante tempo caladas tanto dentro da academia quanto que nas mentes de comunidades Latino/as. Ao fazer isso, o conceito de mestiçagem, que alude a junção harmoniosa de duas ou mais culturas e que promove a inclusão de raças ao passo que rejeita radicalmente a violência, é desmistificada. Pelo contrário, o argumento apela para uma categoria conceitual de mestiçagem que é intencionalmente suja, constantemente mutável, e aberta para múltiplos significados.
SPECIAL EDITION/EDICIÓN ESPECIAL: HTI BOOK PRIZE WINNER ROUNDTABLEAbstract:
By Jacqueline M. Hidalgo; Luis N. Rivera-Pagán; Kristi Upson-Saia; Peter Anthony Mena
In this 2021 issue of Perspectivas, we are particularly honored to also offer the presentations celebrating Peter Mena’s HTI 2020 Book of the year award.Read MoreCollapse / Download Issue
We are happy to provide these presentations by Jacqueline Hidalgo, Luis Rivera Pagán, and Kristi Upson-Saia, including Mena’s response to these presentations. Each of these presentations and Mena’s response illustrate the growing edges of Latina/o/x theologies and their versatility in engaging critical theoretical frameworks and ancient texts.SPECIAL EDITION/EDICIÓN ESPECIAL: HTI BOOK PRIZE WINNER ROUNDTABLEResumen:
Por Jacqueline M. Hidalgo; Luis N. Rivera-Pagán; Kristi Upson-Saia; Peter Anthony Mena
En esta edición 2021 de Perspectivas, también nos sentimos honrados/as/xs al poder ofrecer las presentaciones celebrando el Premio de HTI al libro del año 2020 otorgado a Peter Mena.Leer MásLeer Menos / Descargar este ejemplar
Nos sentimos orgullosos de proveer estas presentaciones por Jacqueline Hidalgo, Luis Rivera Pagán, y Kristi Upson-Saia, incluyendo la respuesta a estas presentaciones por Peter Mena. Cada una de estas presentaciones y la respuesta de Mena ilustran algunos de las áreas de crecimiento de las teologías latinas/os/xs y su versatilidad al abordar marcos teóricos críticos y textos antiguos.
ROUNDTABLE ESSAY 1 – An Amasamiento: Reflecting on Peter Mena’s Place and Identity in the Lives of Antony, Paul, and Mary of Egypt: Desert as BorderlandAbstract:
By Jacqueline M. HidalgoROUNDTABLE ESSAY 1 – An Amasamiento: Reflecting on Peter Mena’s Place and Identity in the Lives of Antony, Paul, and Mary of Egypt: Desert as BorderlandResumen:
Por Jacqueline M. Hidalgo
ROUNDTABLE ESSAY 2 – Peter Anthony Mena, Transgressing the Frontiers/Fronteras of the Traditional Histories of Early ChristianityAbstract:
By Luis N. Rivera-PagánROUNDTABLE ESSAY 2 – Peter Anthony Mena, Transgressing the Frontiers/Fronteras of the Traditional Histories of Early ChristianityResumen:
Por Luis N. Rivera-Pagán
ROUNDTABLE ESSAY 3 – Anzaldúa, Latinx theory, and Late Ancient StudiesAbstract:
By Kristi Upson-SaiaROUNDTABLE ESSAY 3 – Anzaldúa, Latinx theory, and Late Ancient StudiesResumen:
Por Kristi Upson-Saia
RESPONSE ESSAY – Bridging the Gap: Autohistoria-teoría and the Late Antique ImaginationAbstract:
By Peter Anthony MenaRESPONSE ESSAY – Bridging the Gap: Autohistoria-teoría and the Late Antique ImaginationResumen:
Por Peter Anthony Mena
HTI Book Reviews
La evangelización y la misión de Dios: Una teología bíblica, by Philip Wingeier-Rayo. UMC General Board of Higher Education & Ministry, 2020. 216 pages. $18.99.
Rev. Chauncey Diego Francisco Handy
Princeton Theological Seminary
Evangélicos e a Pobreza no Brasil: Encontros e Respostas Éticas 2nd ed., by Raimundo César Barreto Jr. Recriar/Unida, 2019. 314 pages. $55.92.
University of Chicago Divinity School
Decolonial Christianities: Latinx and Latin American Perspectives, Edited by Raimundo Barreto and Roberto Sirvent. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 301 pages. $119.00 (Hardcover).
Ángel J. Gallardo
Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology
Looking Forward with Hope: Reflections on the Present State of Theological Education, Edited by Benjamín Valentín. Cascade Books, 2019. 150 pages. $22.00.
Association of Hispanic Theological Education
Christianity, Empire and the Spirit: (Re)Configuring Faith and the Cultural, By Néstor Medina. Brill, 2018. 368 pages. $74.57.
Daniel Orlando Álvarez
Pentecostal Theological Seminary
Romero & Grande: Companions on the Journey, By Ana María Pineda, R.S.M. Lectio Publishing, 2016. 200 pages. $19.95.
José L. Santana
Southern Methodist University