Although church historians often call the 19th century the Great Century of Protestant mission, for Latin America it was the 20th century that was the great century of Protestant growth and expansion. The 20th century witnessed vast societal changes and the realization of systemic poverty and injustice as well as the exponential growth, pentecostalization, and diversification of Latin American Protestantism. Latin American Protestant Theology emerged during this century of change.
This text provides an introduction to Latin American Protestant Theology by engaging its dominant theological streams (Liberal, Evangelical, and Pentecostal) and how they understand themselves through the lens of mission. The text offers both a critique of the Christendom cartography that is dominant in Latin American Protestant Theology as well as suggestions for how to move towards a transformative theology of mission. The primary intention of this text is to offer an informed outline and analysis of the theological landscape of Latin American Protestantism. The secondary intention of this book is to note the contributions as well as deficiencies of the streams of LAPT in the hope to signal a possible path towards the development of an integral, transformative, contextual, and decolonial theological voice.
The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World is a collection of fourteen articles focusing on debates concerning the nature of “rites” raging in intellectual circles of Europe, Asia and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The controversy started in Jesuit Asian missions where the method of accommodation, based on translation of Christianity into Asian cultural idioms, created a distinction between civic and religious customs. Civic customs were defined as those that could be included into Christianity and permitted to the new converts. However, there was no universal consensus among the various actors in these controversies as to how to establish criteria for distinguishing civility from religion. The controversy had not been resolved, but opened the way to radical religious scepticism.
Contributors are: Claudia Brosseder, Michela Catto, Gita Dharampal-Frick, Pierre Antoine Fabre, Ana Carolina Hosne, Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, Giuseppe Marcocci, Ovidiu Olar, Sabina Pavone, István Perczel, Nicholas Standaert, Margherita Trento, Guillermo Wilde and Ines G. Županov.
Pentecostals and Roman Catholics on Becoming a Christian, Dr. Karen Murphy explores the fifth round of the International Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue (1998-2006). Discussing Spirit-baptism, faith, conversion, experience, and discipleship, Dr. Murphy notes areas in which the Dialogue has evolved since its inception in 1972. She unpacks the commonalities that bond Catholics and Pentecostals and examines theological divergences and challenges to dialogue. While Catholics approach becoming a Christian from a sacramental perspective, most Pentecostals think of Christian initiation in non-sacramental, or conversionist, terms, a reality that fosters ongoing tensions between the two traditions. Dr. Murphy reveals how Catholics and Pentecostals seek to overcome this dichotomy by honoring spirituality and experience as integral to the ecumenical encounter.
Translating Catechisms, Translating Cultures explores the dimensions of early modern transcultural Christianities; the leeway of religious negotiation in and outside of Europe by comparing catechisms and their translation in the context of several Jesuit missionary strategies. The volume challenges the often assumed paramount Europeanness of Western Christianity. In the early modern period the idea of Tridentine Catholicism was translated into many different regions where it was appropriated and adopted to local conditions. Missionary work always entails translation, linguistic as well as cultural, which results in a modification of the content. Catechisms were central instruments to communicate Christian belief and, therefore, they are central media for all kinds of translation processes. The comparative approach (including China, India, Japan, Ethiopia, Northern America and England) enables the evaluation of different factors like power relations, social differentiation, cultural patterns, gender roles etc.
Contributors are: Takao Abé, Anand Amaladass, Leonhard Cohen, Renate Dürr, Antje Flüchter, Ana Hosne, Giulia Nardini, John Ødemark, John Steckley, Alexandra Walsham, Rouven Wirbser.
The Jesuit Missions of Paraguay and a Cultural History of Utopia (1568–1789) explores the religious foundations of the Jesuit missions in Paraguay, and the discussion of the missionary experience in the public opinion of early modern Europe, from Montaigne to Diderot. This book presents a wealth of documentation to highlight three key aspects of this debate: the relationship between civilisation and religion, between religion and political imagination, and between utopia and history. Girolamo Imbruglia's analysis of the Jesuits' own narrative reveals that the idea and the practice of mission have been one of the essential features of the European identity, and of the shaping modern political thought.
Mothering, Public Leadership, and Women’s Life Writing, Claire E. Wolfteich presents a series of case studies in Christian spirituality, bringing mothers’ autobiographical writing into focus for theological reflection. From the medieval mystic Margery Kempe to the twentieth-century activist Dorothy Day, from African American preacher Jarena Lee to labor organizer Dolores Huerta, the book mines women’s first-person writing, surfacing critical issues for theological analysis. Listening deeply to these diverse maternal voices, the book advances creative theological reflection on work, vocation, time poverty, Sabbath, and spiritual guidance.
Mothering, Public Leadership, and Women’s Life Writing demonstrates the significance of the study of mothering for theology and spirituality studies and the import of life writing as an underutilized source for practical theology.
Liquid Ecclesiology Pete Ward explores the theological contours of the turn to ethnography in the study of the Christian Church. His approach rests on a theology of culture that holds in tension and paradox the expression of the Church and divine presence. This theological framework is then developed through an extended qualitative empirical case study examining the communicative practices of the contemporary evangelical Church. The case study examines how the evangelical Gospel through expression has become marginalised in the everyday life of communities being replaced by a new more individual and personalised theology seen in worship songs. The final section of the book returns to the debates around ethnographic forms of theology and the question of normativity. This book will be of interest to all those engaged in empirical and theological work, as well as those researching the contemporary Church and evangelicalism
Reading the Bible Across Contexts Esa Autero offers a fresh perspective on Luke’s poverty texts. In addition to an historical reading, he conducted an empirical investigation of two Latin American Bible reading groups – one poor and the other affluent – to shed light on Luke’s poverty texts. The interaction between historical reading and present-day readings demonstrates the impact of socio-economic status on biblical hermeneutics and sheds new light on Luke’s views on wealth and poverty. At the same time Esa Autero critically examines liberation theologian’s claim that poor are privileged biblical interpreters.
Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life - the Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America, Jakob Egeris Thorsen offers a detailed ethnographic and theological analysis of the impact of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the Catholic Church in the region. Based on fieldwork, this interdisciplinary study examines how Charismatic practice and spirituality permeate both local parish life and the pastoral plans of the Catholic Church in Guatemala and Latin America.
The Charismatic Renewal is the largest lay movement in Latin America and has a profound influence on the Catholic Church. This book analyses both the social and ecclesiological consequences of an incipient Pentecostalization of Guatemalan and Latin American Catholicism.
Despite shifts in the religious landscape in North America--reflected in the significant increase in those with no religious affiliation and emptier pews across the religious spectrum--there has also been a rise in participation in faith-based grassroots organizations. People of faith are increasingly joining broad-based organizing efforts to seek social change in their communities, regions and country.
This unique volume brings together the most current thinking on faith-based organizing from the perspective of theologians, social researchers and practitioners. The current state of faith based organizing is critically presented, as it has evolved from its roots in the mid-twentieth century into a context which raises new questions for its philosophical assumptions, methodology, and very future.
Originally published as issue 4 of Volume 6 (2012) of Brill's
International Journal of Public Theology.