Thank You Mujeristas
“ Mujeristas understand that our task is to gather our peple’s hopes and expectations about justice and peace. Because Christianity, in particular the Latin American enculturation of Roman Catholicism, is an intrinsic part of Hispanic culture, mujeristas believe that in Latinas, though not exclusively so, God chooses once again to lay claim to the divine image and likeness made visible from the very beginning in women. Mujeristas are called to bring to birth new women and new men – Hispanics willing to work for the good of our people (the “common good”) knowing that such work requires the denunciation of all destructive sense of self-abnegation.” Mujerista Theology, p.62
Isasi-Diaz’ description of a mujerista faith takes the incarnation of Christ so much more seriously than the abstract theologizing we toss around in church. It amazes me how the specific, real, particular and focused nature of the theological question she poses opens up a universal possibility of Christ, of community and acceptance to all peoples, men and women. There is an important counterintuitive lesson in here: If your theological outlook begins by considering how God interacts with specific people in real social locations with real enfleshed problems instead of abstract generalizations about “mankind” and various cultures, it makes Christ a real person, grasps him as located flesh, and makes Christ-like acceptance and empathy of all people perhaps easier.
I would like to be able to demonstrate this more, teach it better in church and the classroom; live it of course. Carter’s book, Race examines the effect abstraction has had in European theology considering the ontological issues at play. It is profound but I’m not personally able to preach on it well for a Sunday service. So far, I am using Justo Gonzalez’ quote:
“…every valid theology must acknowledge its particularity and its connection with the struggles and the vested interests in which it is involved. A theology that refuses to do this and that leaps to facile claims of universal validity will have no place in the post reformation church of the twenty-first century.” Manana, p. 52
It makes me wonder if we might describe the early 20th century theological developments of Barth and his ilk as simply rediscovering whiteness in some sense; the scandal of particularity. It certainly took us a long time. And to God’s glory and Isasi-Diaz’s credit; the mujeristas were there waiting for us.