By Michelle A. Gonzalez
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Additional resources for Afro-Cuban Theology: Religion, Race, Culture, and Identity
However, in expanding the function of mestizaje/mulatez to represent Latino/a hybridity, Isasi-Díaz robs these categories of their historical value as terms that specifically designate indigenous/Spanish and Spanish/African mixture. The terms, as identity markers, thus function at various levels in her work. S. society and its accompanying worldview. ”39 Mestizaje/mulatez not only portrays the Latino/a context; these terms also reflect the epistemological vantage point from which Latino/as exist in the world as hybrid people.
In their emphasis on the organic unity of the pastoral and the academic, Latino/a theologians have argued—at some times more successfully than at others—that this false distinction is foreign to their theological projects. They also argue that their theological writings represent the voices of an oppressed community. Yet Latino/a theologians are an elite within that marginalized community. S. society. To put it bluntly, Latino/a theologians may write about the poor, but they themselves are not poor.
We must be mindful of the manner in which power functions in the construction of identity. The traditioned identity is too often the identity constructed by the elite. Whether directed by ecclesial leaders or academic theologians, the official narrative of a people is often in the hands of the few. This narrative is quite often the same one accessed by “outsider” groups. As theologians informed by a preferential option for the marginalized and by the contextual nature of all theology, Latino/a theologians must be vigilant over the identities we tradition.
Afro-Cuban Theology: Religion, Race, Culture, and Identity by Michelle A. Gonzalez