Women Doing Theology in the United States

These are the 10 theologians you should know

By Yenny Delgado

When you think of female theologians does a specific name or scholar come to mind? 

Over the past few decades there have been numerous intellectual and theological contributions from women in the United States from both Protestant and Catholic backgrounds. Below, we present the contribution of the 10 most influential women theologians that you should know:

  1. Emilie M Townes

Dr. Townes is a pioneer in Womanist theology. Womanist theology is a field of study in which the historical and current ideas of women of African descent in the United States highlight the critical engagement and traditions of Christian theology. She has developed a keen interest in critical thinking about women’s perspectives on topics such as health care, economic justice, and literary theory.

True to her academic work, she continues her research on women and health in the African diaspora in both Brazil and the United States.

Publications:

  • Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2006).
  • Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Care and a Womanist Ethic of Care (Continuum, 1998).
  • In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness (Abingdon Press, 1995).
  • Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope (Scholars Press, 1993).

2. Katie Cannon

Dr. Cannon was a specialist in ethics and black theology. In 1974 she became the first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church. She is credited with founding women’s theology and ethics as a field. Additionally, Dr. Cannon, founded and organized the Center for Women’s Leadership at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Publications:

  • Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community (Bloomsbury Academic,1998.)
  • Black womanist ethics (Oxford University Press, 1988)

 3. Elizabeth Conde Frasier

Dr Conde is an ordained pastor of the American Baptist Church with more than ten years of pastoral experience and as a practical theologian.

She was founder of the Orlando E. Costas Hispanic and Latin American Ministries Program at Andover Newton School of Theology, served as full professor of religious education at Claremont School of Divinity, and as academic dean and vice president of education at Esperanza College of Eastern University. Director of AETH.

Publications:

  • Atando Cabos Latinx Contributions to Theological Education (2021)
  • A Many-Colored Kingdom: Multicultural Dynamics for Spiritual Formation (2004)

4. Diana Hayes

Dr. Hayes emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at Georgetown University. Her areas of expertise are womanist theology, black theology, US liberation theologies, contextual theologies, religion and public life, and African American and womanist spirituality.

Dr. Hayes is the first African American woman to receive the Pontifical Doctor of Sacred Theology (STD) degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and has also received three honorary doctorates.

Publications:

  • No Crystal Stair: Womanist Spirituality. (2016)
  • Forged in the Fiery Furnace: African American Spirituality. (2012)
  • Standing in the Shoes My Mother Made: A Womanist Theology. (2010)

5. Kathryn Tanner

Dr Tanner her research links the history of Christian thought with contemporary issues of theological interest using social, cultural, and feminist theory. For eight years he has been a member of the Theology Committee that advises the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.

Publications:

  • God and Creation in Christian theology (2004)
  • The Politics of God: Christian Theologies and Social Justice. (1992)
  • Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology (1997)

6. Kelly Brown

Dr. Brown is Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In 2019, she was appointed to the Bill and Judith Moyers Professor of Theology. Kelly is considered a leader in the field of womanist theology, racial reconciliation, social justice, and sexuality and the black church.

Publications: 

  • Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and Justice of God (2015)
  • Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective. (1999)
  • Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter.(2021)

7. Wonhee Anne Joh

Dr. Joh theologian is a professor, and lecturer whose influence on the disciplines of religion, women’s equality, and the Asian-American experience has created a great deal of positive thought and discourse.

Publications:

  • Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. ( 2006)
  • Terror, Trauma and Mourning: A Postcolonial Theology of Hope. Under contract and forthcoming with Fordham University Press (2006)
  • Engaging the United States as a Military Empire: Critical Studies of Christianity from Asian/Asian North American Perspectives. Palgrave (2016).

8. Mary Shawn Copeland

Dr Copeland is a catholic theologian and former nun. She is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Boston College and is known for her work in theological anthropology and political theology.

Copeland has held positions at Xavier University of Louisiana, Yale Divinity School, and Marquette University. She worked as an adjunct professor in the Theology Department at Boston College for several years. She was the first African American to serve as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Publications:

The Subversive Power of Love: The Vision of Henriette Delille (2009)

Enfleshing Freedom:Body, Race and Being (2010)

Knowing Christ Crucified: The Witness of African American Religious Experience (2018)

9. Loida Martell-Otero

Dr Martell-Otero earned a doctorate in Theology from Fordham University and is an ordained minister for the Baptist Church. She is currently Dean of Lexington Theological Seminary, where she also serves as professor of constructive theology. Dr. Martell pioneered the study of evangelical theology in the United States. She has published articles on evangelical soteriology, Christlogy, doctrine of God, biblical hermeneutics, incarnation, eschatology, globalization, and vocation.

Publications:

Teología en Conjunto: A collaborative Hispanic Protestant Theology (1997)

Latinas evangélicas: A Theological Study from the Margins. (2013)

10. Rosemary Radford Ruether

Dr. Radford is Catholic theologian known for her important contributions to the field of feminist theology. Her field of knowledge and writing is wide, with topics ranging from feminist theology and ecofeminist theology to topics such as anti-Semitism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

She is a proponent of women’s ordination, a movement among Catholic religious people who affirm the ability of women to serve as priests, despite official sanction.

Publications:

  • The Church Against Itself.  Herder and Herder. (1967)
  • Women and Redemption: A Theological History. Fortress Press. Minnesota, (2012).
  • Women Healing Earth: Third World Women on Ecology, Feminism, and Religion. New York, March (1996).

As you can see, the contribution of women in the field of theology in the United States is broad, and is growing.  These theologians have developed and expanded the field of thought and reflection in constant evolution and in a continuous exploration of aspects that previously went unnoticed and that are now highlighted. Their writings respond to our current contexts where women take leading roles and without a doubt, they contribute not only to the theological field but also to society itself.

______________________

Yenny Delgado– Psychologist and Theologian. Director of Publica and convener of Women Doing Theology in Abya Yala. She writes about the intersections between ancestral memory, decolonization, and public faith. Currently, she is a doctoral student in Social Science of Religion at the University of Lausanne.

White supremacy and presidential elections in Colombia

By Yenny Delgado

Colombia is on the verge of a historic election in which a woman of African descent as a Vice-Presidential Candidate has the genuine possibility of being elected. Francia Márquez, 40 years old, an African Descendants Colombian citizen, could become the second in command in the republic. But what is the difference between the Colombia elections and the well cover candidacy of Obama in his first running in 2008 as an African descendent president in the United States? Or even in 2020, when Kamala Harris was elected the first female VP of the United States as a woman of African and Asian ancestry?

Once again, people are making jokes about being governed by an “African,” and other denigrating comments making visible the racism that is often not so subtly hidden under the surface of Colombian society. On the other hand, people who support Marquez’s candidacy in Colombia have different approaches. They see an opportunity to show what equal rights and inclusion can look like in Colombia’s political sphere and offer a more progressive view of the country.

For the past decade, I have written about racism and the ideology of white supremacy in the United States. There have been few willing to engage in discussions or conversations for most of this time, especially with colleagues throughout Abya Yala. Essentially, the view and thought have been that the problem is more contextualized to the north and the United States but does not accurately reflect situations throughout the continent. In the United States, it is clear to see the long history of persistent laws and customs that have supported practices that preferentially benefit individuals of European ancestry. In the South, history is different, and it is not the same as the “Anglo” oppression. However, following the assassination of George Floyd by a police officer of European ancestry was captured on video for the world to see amid a global pandemic; there has been a greater awareness and awakening throughout the continent of how are societies truly operate and the underlying opinions and thoughts we hold as a society.

However, we often fail to realize similar histories and laws are pervasive throughout the continent, all motivated by the flawed idea of white supremacy. There are deep roots in the history of colonization that many people no longer want to talk. In the conservative circles, it is about “old history.” In the liberal process, they prefer to move quickly around “post-colonization.” Both prefer and desire to forget the most tragic event in Abya Yala.

Not surprisingly, the resemblance between the two countries’ history is the same. Colonization of the native population and the enslaved Africans go hand to hand in all over the continent. Colonization and white supremacy were not invented in Abya Yala but in Europe, where they divided the territory between catholic and protestant between Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French. We can see the colonialist agenda to maintain the United States or Colombia under white supremacy.

Marquez, at this moment, visualizes the history of enslavement in Colombia during three hundred years under the Spanish monarchy, and after “independence,” the administration did not change. Marquez is from the Cauca Region. The region has a long history of exploiting individuals of African ancestry to exploit gold mines and plantains. In colonial times, enslaved Africans were bought, sold, or inherited between the Spanish and their descendants “Criollos” (Spanish born in Abya Yala) families from Popayan. Today, the sting of slavery continues.

The existence of Marquez in politics puts the finger on the wound. Her empowerment as a community leader and educated Afro-descendant woman breaks the silence. It forces the ruling class in power to confront themselves and deal with a history of injustice and inhumanity. The comments towards Márquez’s candidacy, such as “she must go back to Africa” or “Colombia is not an African country,” seem to sample what Colombians have long believed but have remained not openly said.

Marquez represents the face of a country with historical memory. Thanks to the brave presence of Marquez, it is already known with presence and face what an Afro-descendant woman is and what Colombia must endure. For this reason, Marquez puts on the table what the new Colombian generations want to discuss and even move forward.

A few days before the elections, Colombia is again faced with deciding the next political administration, a difficult task, when the right-wing counterattacks with discriminatory speeches and the left and liberals promise to solve an ideological problem with laws.

Laws are powerful tools but are not the remedy. Everyone who wants to move forward needs to confront the consequences of colonization, which is indeed the original sin and basis of white supremacy ideology. We have a shared story across Abya Yala, and the current election should help us see the interconnectedness of this land and its real history.

Mujeres haciendo teología en los Estados Unidos

Estas son las 10 teólogas que debes conocer ¡sí o sí!

En Estados Unidos se han desarrollado estudios teológicos cristianos entre los protestantes y católicos, que son de largo recorrido, pero muchas veces se les ha criticado por replicar una teología europea, centrada en una ideología de superioridad y discriminación, centrada sólo en obras desarrolladas por teólogos varones y blancos. Como consecuencia, se redujo la mirada crítica de la diversidad que se vive en el país. Esta crítica ha permitido dar valor a otras perspectivas que en las últimas décadas se han ido desarrollando, como es el caso del trabajo de las teólogas de diversas etnicidades y ancestralidades, que vienen buscando abrir nuevos caminos y formas de hacer teología en los Estados Unidos. 

A continuación, les presentamos el aporte de las 10 teólogas estadounidenses más influyentes que debes conocer:

1. Katie Cannon

Especialista en ética y la teología negra. En 1974 se convirtió en la primera mujer afroamericana ordenada en la Iglesia Presbiteriana Unida. Se le atribuye la fundación de la teología y la ética mujerista como campo. La Dra.Cannon fundó y organizó el Centro para el Liderazgo de Mujeres en el Seminario Presbiteriano de la Unión.

Publicaciones:

  • El capricho feroz de Dios: las implicaciones del feminismo para la educación teológica.
  • El canon de Katie: el feminismo y el alma de la comunidad negra.

2. Emilie M. Townes

Ha sido una pionera en teología Mujerista, un campo de estudios en el que las ideas históricas y actuales de las mujeres afrodescendientes en los Estados Unidos que ponen en relieve el compromiso crítico y las tradiciones de la teología cristiana. La Dra. Townes ha forjado un gran interés en el pensamiento crítico sobre las perspectivas mujeristas en temas como el cuidado de la salud, la justicia económica, y la teoría literaria.

Fiel a su trabajo académico ella continúa su investigación sobre la mujer y la salud en la diáspora africana en Brasil y Estados Unidos.

Publicaciones: 

  • Ética teológica feminista.
  • La ética Mujerista y la producción cultural del mal entre otros.

3. Elizabeth Conde- Frasier

Es pastora ordenada de la Iglesia Bautista con más de diez años de experiencia pastoral y como teóloga práctica.

Fue fundadora del Programa de Ministerios Hispanos y Latinoamericanos Orlando E. Costas en la Escuela Teológica Andover Newton, se desempeñó como profesora titular de educación religiosa en la Escuela de teología Claremont y como decana académica y vicepresidenta de educación en Esperanza College of Eastern University. La Dra. Conde-Frazier es actualmente directora de AETH.

Publicaciones:

  • Atando Cabos: Aportes Latinx a la Educación Teológica.
  • Latinas Evangélicas: Un Estudio Teológico desde los Márgenes.
  • Institutos Bíblicos Hispanos: Una comunidad de construcción teológica.

4. Diana Hayes

Profesora emérita de Teología Sistemática en la Universidad de Georgetown. Sus áreas de especialización son la

teología mujerista, la teología negra, las teologías de la liberación de EE. UU., las teologías contextuales, la religión y la vida pública, y la espiritualidad afroamericana y mujerista.

La Dra. Hayes es la primera mujer afroamericana en recibir el título de Doctora Pontificia en Teología Sagrada (S.T.D.) de la Universidad Católica de Lovaina (Bélgica) y también ha recibido tres doctorados honorarios.

Publicaciones:

  • Sin Escalera de Cristal: Espiritualidad Mujerista.
  • Forjado en el horno de fuego: espiritualidad afroamericana.
  • Pararse en los Zapatos que Hizo Mi Madre: Una Teología Mujerista.

5. Kathryn Tanner

Su investigación relaciona la historia del pensamiento cristiano con temas contemporáneos de interés teológico utilizando la teoría social, cultural y feminista.  Durante ocho años ha sido miembro del Comité de Teología que asesora a la Cámara de Obispos de la Iglesia Episcopal.

Publicaciones:

  • Dios y la creación en la teología cristiana: ¿tiranía o empoderamiento? 
  • La política de Dios: teologías cristianas y justicia social.
  • Teorías de la cultura: una nueva agenda para la teología Jesús, la humanidad y la Trinidad: una breve teología sistemática.

6. Kelly Brown 

Decana de la Escuela de Divinidad Episcopal en el Seminario Teológico Unión en la ciudad de Nueva York. En 2019, fue nombrada para dictar la cátedra de Teología Bill y Judith Moyers.

La Dra.Brown es considerada una líder en el campo de la teología mujerista, la reconciliación racial, la justicia social y la sexualidad.

Publicaciones:

  • Defender su posición: cuerpos negros y la justicia de Dios. La sexualidad y la iglesia negra: una perspectiva mujerista. Resurrección Hope: un futuro donde las vidas de los negros importan.

7. Wonhee Anne

Teóloga, profesora y conferenciante cuya influencia en las disciplinas de la religión, la igualdad de la mujer y la experiencia asiático-estadounidense ha creado una gran cantidad de pensamiento y discurso positivo.

Publicaciones:

  • Corazón de la Cruz: una cristología poscolonial
  • Terror, trauma y luto: una teología poscolonial de la esperanza. Bajo contrato y de próxima publicación con Fordham University Press.

8. Mary Shawn Copeland

Teóloga católica y ex hermana religiosa. Es profesora emérita de teología sistemática en el Boston College y es conocida por su trabajo en antropología teológica y teología política.

La Dra. Copeland ha ocupado cargos en la Universidad Xavier de Luisiana, la Escuela de Divinidad de Yale y la Universidad de Marquette. Trabajó como profesora adjunta en el Departamento de Teología de Boston College durante varios años.

La Dra. Copeland fue la primera afroamericana en ocupar el cargo de presidenta de la Sociedad Teológica Católica de América también fue el coordinador del Simposio Teológico Católico Negro.

Publicaciones

  • Libertad encarnada: cuerpo, raza y ser.
  • Conociendo a Cristo Crucificado: El Testimonio de la Experiencia Religiosa Afroamericana.
  • Fidelidad poco común: la experiencia católica Negra.

9. Loida Martell-Otero

Doctora en Teología por la Universidad de Fordham y ministra ordenada por las Iglesia Bautistas. Actualmente es decana del Seminario Teológico de Lexington, donde también se desempeña como profesora de teología constructiva. La Dra. Martell fue pionera en el estudio de la teología evangélica en Estados Unidos. Ha publicado artículos sobre soteriología evangélica, cristología, doctrina de Dios, hermenéutica bíblica, encarnación, escatología, globalización y vocación.

Publicaciones:

  • Teología en Conjunto: una teología protestante hispana colaborativa.
  • Latinas Evangélicas: un estudio teológico desde los márgenes. 

10. Rosemary Radford Ruether

Teóloga católica conocida por sus importantes contribuciones al campo de la teología feminista. Su campo de conocimiento y escritura es amplio, con temas que van desde la teología feminista y la teología ecofeminista, hasta temas como el antisemitismo y el conflicto palestino-israelí.

La Dra.Radford es una defensora de la ordenación de mujeres, un movimiento entre personas religiosas católicas que afirman la capacidad de las mujeres para servir como sacerdotes, a pesar de la sanción oficial. 

Publicaciones:

  • La Iglesia contra sí misma.
  • Mujeres y redención: una historia teológica. 
  • Mujeres curando la tierra: mujeres del tercer mundo sobre ecología, feminismo y religión.

El aporte de las mujeres en el campo de la teología en los Estados Unidos es amplio, y se encuentra en crecimiento, en constante evolución y en una continua exploración de aspectos que antes pasaron inadvertidos y que ahora se ponen en relieve, ya que responden a nuestros contextos actuales donde las mujeres toman roles protagónicos y sin duda, aportan no solo en el terreno eclesial sino también en la sociedad misma.

Comparte este artículo y difunde la lectura de teólogas en su comunidad!

____________________________

Yenny Delgado

Psicóloga y teóloga. Directora de Publica Theology y columnista en Unbound. Escribe sobre las intersecciones entre memoria ancestral, etnicidad, mujerismo y fe pública.

Mujeres Doing Theology in Abya Yala

The ten female theologians you should know

Abya Yala is a continent with a diverse population. In the last five centuries, the native people and their descendants have inhabited sacred lands with migrants from Europe, Africa, and Asia. These unique experiences of merging and interacting cultures, languages, spirituality, and backgrounds have led to a unique theological voice reflecting emerging from Abya Yala.

Indeed, Abya Yala comes from the Guna language and means “land in full maturity.” Since the 1970s, activists, writers, and academic descendants of the native population have adopted Abya Yala as the unified name of the continent in resistance to colonization and marginalization.

As women, we have been doing theology from different realities and reflections that have profoundly impacted the field and theological discourse. However, if we reflect on well-known theologians or those studying theology read, we often draw a blank.

Women’s work in the theological and pastoral world is diverse and significantly contributes. However, it is often invisible by a patriarchal system focused on the contributions of male theologians and geographically focused on reflection from a more European, Anglo-Saxon, and white vision.This is profoundly disturbing!

This list of 10 female theologians aims to address this problem, reflecting the breadth of Christianity and filling the current gap of silence and knowledge.

Here are the ten female theologians you should know:

1.Sofía Chipana (Bolivia)

A prominent voice of indigenous theology in Abya Yala, she values dignified and sacred life with the earth and respect for all life forms in her writing. She has worked with networks dedicated to theological reflection and articulating knowledge, wisdom, and spiritualities. She is a member of the Community of Indigenous Theologians of Abya Yala and the Andean Theological Community that fosters dialogue between the Andean peoples.

Quotables:“In the contexts of colonized peoples of Abya Yala, the Bible has been used as a colonizing instrument to alienate our identities, subjugate our territories and confine us to live as foreigners in our own lands.”

Publications: “Today’s tools for exegesis and hermeneutics” and “Apocalyptic: Stories for the recreation of life.”

2.Luzmila Quezada (Peru)

Luzmila has work has focused on the role of women in faith communities. She has a doctorate in History and Theology and has devoted herself to teaching Systematic Theology, Feminist Theology, and Gender. In addition to her academic work, Luzmila is an ordained pastor of the Wesleyan Church and coordinator of the feminist theologians of Peru.

Quotables: “Women’s doing theology results from a critical reflection that challenges traditional theology. It is a theology that starts from everyday life in response, overcoming all forms of marginalization, exclusion.”

Publications: “Re-appropriating our lives, bodies, and sexualities. Methodological guide” ,”Fundamentalisms and Sexuality. Gender and Religion. Pluralisms and religious dissidents.”, “Christian women, social mobility and citizenship.”

3.Ivonne Gebara (Brazil)

Ivonne works from Brazil and presents eco-feminism connecting the exploitation of nature with the oppression experienced by peasant women, who have been exploited and dominated just like mother earth. Women have been relegated to being reproductive sources in the service of a patriarchal, hierarchical system. In her work, she denounces violence against nature and connects the natural world and its ideological, anthropological, and mythical relationship with women.

Quotables: “For men, evil is an act one can undo. But for women, evil is in their very being.”

Publications: “Women healing the earth: ecology, feminism and religion, according to Third World women,” “The thirst for meaning. Ecofeminist searches in poetic prose” and “ecofeminist theology” among others.

4.Maricel Mena (Colombia)

Maricel is a theologian, biblical scholar, and researcher. She specializes in contextual theology, feminist black biblical hermeneutics, and gender, and currently works at the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology at Saint Thomas University and investigates other religions, comparative religion, and Abrahamic religions.

Quotables:“The feminist black biblical hermeneutics rescues the black woman from the role of poor, maid, and slave, a role invented by the scholars who formed the socio-religious imaginary and places her as the protagonist of a story of struggle and resistance.”

Publications: “Latin American Biblical Panorama, “Spirituality, Justice, and Hope from Afro-American and Caribbean Theologies,” “A Question of Skin: From Hegemonic Wisdoms to Emerging Wisdoms,” among others.

5.Carolina Bacher Martinez (Argentina)

Carolina is a doctor of theology and professor of Pastoral Theology. Her work and contribution are to participatory action research through the theology of the signs of the times. She is a member of the Church, Society, and State Group in Argentina and the Urban Theology Group “Spirituality Practices” of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. She is vice president of the Argentine Society of Theology SAT.

Quotables: “Each one of us deserves to know, learn from our itinerary, and continue our work, renewed by the encounter.”

Publications: “He talks to us on the road. Preliminary considerations regarding the subject, objective and method of a pastoral theology.”

6.Elsa Tamez (Mexico)

Elsa has a doctorate in Theology from the University of Lausanne. She is an emeritus professor at the Latin American Biblical University in San José, Costa Rica. She specializes in Bible with a feminist perspective, and contextual biblical critiques brought new perspectives to these fields of study. 

Quotables: “‎God remains silent so that men and women may speak, protest, and struggle. God remains silent so that people may really become people. When God is silent and men and women cry, God cries in solidarity with them but doesn’t intervene. God waits for the shouts of protest.”

Publications: “The Bible of the oppressed,” “The amnesty of grace,” and “Struggles for power in early Christianity: a study of the first letter of Timothy,” among others.

7.Agustina Luvis (Puerto Rico)

Agustina has a long history of theological studies with a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Her work includes Pentecostal and feminist theologies. She writes about women and their pastoral work. Agustina is currently Dean of the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.

Quotables: “Language is never neutral. Our language can give life and can cause death. To use the term “illegals” to refer to undocumented people is a tactic that influences the debate on immigration and feeds hatred and violence.”

Publications: “Sex in the Church” and “Created in her image: A comprehensive pastoral for women.”

8.Emilie M. Townes (United States)

She has been a pioneer in Womanist theology, a field of study in which the historical and current ideas of Afro-descendant women in the United States are brought into critical engagement with the traditions of Christian theology. Emilie has a keen interest in thinking critically about Women’s perspectives on topics such as health care, economic justice, and literary theory.

True to her academic work, she continues her research on women and health in the African diaspora in Brazil and the United States.

Quotables: “Ethics and theology are intimate dance partners — theology helps me think through how I experience God; ethics helps me think through how I must respond to this experience and also act on it.”

Publications: “Feminist theological ethics,” “Womanist ethics and the cultural production of evil,” among others.

9.Geraldina Céspedes (Dominican Republic)

Geraldina is a religious of the Congregation of Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary. She has a doctorate in Systematic Theology. Her missionary and theological career have passed in various communities. 

Geraldine writes about the dehumanizing treatment in which people are objects of consumption and in the face of pseudo spiritualities of prosperity and “happiness.” Her work confronts the abuse of women’s time and their corporeity. Women are consumed, and only their profitability is sought for the market and patriarchy.

Quotables: “Ecofeminism precisely seeks to place other epistemological, philosophical and cosmological bases that allow the construction of another vision of nature, of the human being and of God.”

Publications: “Eco feminism Theology healthy for the earth and its inhabitants,” “The theologies of liberation before the market and patriarchy.”

10.Ada Isasi-Díaz (Cuba)

Ada theological work revolved around the concept of exile and the experience of being an immigrant in the United States, where she criticizes the sexism and violence of the Hispanic culture, inherited from a colonizing and violent process on the continent. Ada wrote from every day, in the daily experience of life, as an epistemological framework in her reflection and writing.

Quotables: “To name oneself is one of the most powerful acts any person can do.”

Publications: “Womanist Theology,” “In the Struggle,” “The Continual Struggle”

These ten women theologians of Abya Yala are a source of inspiration and reflection with a perspective more focused on the equity and value of women, safeguarding their identity, and redefining their correct position in the world. Women immersed in the world of theology use their work to impact their congregations and the entire continent.

I invite you to read more about the theological work carried out in Abya Yala. In this way, we can promote the interest of more women to enter this vast, necessary and urgent field of reflection.

                              ____________________         

Yenny Delgado

Psychologist and Public Theologian. She is ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church USA. Director of Publica Theology and convener of Mujeres Doing Theology, International. She writes about the intersections between ancestral memory, diversity, gender and faith in the public square.

MUJERES HACIENDO TEOLOGÍA

La reflexión teológica desde las mujeres ha pasado por diversos momentos. Mujeres comprometidas con la reflexión teológica liberadora integral aportan cada día en el quehacer teológico. Este es un espacio para para hacer teología en comunidad.

Acompáñenos este jueves 17 de febrero y sea parte de nuestra comunidad de teólogas, pastoras y seminaristas en Abya Yala.

Un legado que continua “Yo tengo un sueño”

Por Yenny Delgado

Cuando recordamos al Reverendo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr es imposible no reflexionar sobre su mensaje ” Yo tengo un sueño”. Sin embargo, su memoria y su voz profética van más allá de este único discurso.

Rev. King no solo tuvo como mensaje acabar con la segregación y apartheid que vivían los afro descendientes en los Estados Unidos. Dedicó su vida abogando por la justicia y la equidad.  

Al mismo tiempo que movilizaba a la iglesia a ser una comunidad inclusiva y unida contra la opresión mantenida por un gobierno abiertamente racista y discriminatorio. Dió respuestas en tiempo real a la necesidad de los afrodescendientes como a la población nativa, mujeres, inmigrantes y todos los trabajadores que vivían en empobrecimiento y exclusión. 

Es importante recordar que las políticas del gobierno estadounidense no solo guiaban la sociedad secular en el país, en la década de los 60’ la iglesia cristiana vivía también en segregación. Los líderes de la Iglesia blanca que practican la supremacía y exclusión, desde un sentido teológico equivocado y euro céntrico, mantenían los servicios de los domingos “solo para “blancos”. 

Rev. King diría en su tiempo ” Los domingos a las 11 am es la hora mas segregada en los Estados Unidos” mostrando la otra cara de los lideres religiosos que no siempre apoyaron el mensaje de igualdad e inclusión que lideraba Rev.King. 

La historia violenta e injusta en los Estados Unidos se debe entender dentro del contexto politico y religioso en el cual vivió y escribió Rev. King. Su voz profética y de denuncia no fue silenciada con su asesinato en 1968, su mensaje sigue presente hasta el dia de hoy.  Al 2022 seguimos viendo las injusticias y violencia dentro de los Estados Unidos por lo cual como iglesia tenemos que estar atentos cuando vemos:

  • La lucha de muchas familias que viven en la pobreza y sufren los embates de ser trabajadores esenciales sin salarios dignos.
  • El dolor de los jóvenes afrodescendientes que son sistemáticamente atacados, arrestados y, a menudo, asesinados por la policía.
  • El sufrimiento y dolor de migrantes que sufren la separación familiar en la frontera sur.
  • La lucha por defender el derecho al voto en Estados que buscan discriminar y recortar los derechos democráticos para hacerlos exclusivos.

La pandemia que vivimos en este momento ha hecho aún mas visibles las injusticias y la desigualdad en toda las sociedades. El mensaje de Rev. King nos insta a reflexionar en comunidad y tomar acciones para una mayor solidaridad entre todos y todas.

En este momento crucial de la historia, la iglesia esta llamada a practicar la justicia, equidad y compasión. Vivir en comunidad requiere diversidad étnica, ser en lo posible multilingüe y sobre todo respetar el derecho a las diferencias de cada persona.

¡Que Dios nos ayude a vivir los valores del Reino hoy!

Epifanía:  Libertad para  todas las generaciones

Por Yenny Delgado

Hoy celebramos Epifanía, día que conmemoramos la visita de los reyes magos y que confirmaron el nacimiento de Jesús. Una sensación de clamor y bendición durante generaciones marcó este acontecimiento extraordinario y todavía es palpable en la actualidad. Jesús nació fuera de la tierra natal de sus padres y creció parcialmente en Egipto; como muchos niños y niñas hoy con familias refugiadas en todo el mundo, Jesús trae un mensaje para las familias que viven hoy días inciertos.

La narrativa y los primeros años de Jesús reflejan las luchas que enfrentan las personas en todo el mundo debido al empobrecimiento, la opresión y la desigualdad. Sin embargo, en medio de momentos difíciles. Celebramos su nacimiento, la celebración de Epifanía es un símbolo también de esperanza al empezar un nuevo año. 

Hoy según el calendario litúrgico leemos el texto Salmo 72: 1-7, y reflexionamos sobre esta oración:

Dota al rey de tu justicia, oh Dios, al hijo real de tu justicia. 
Juzgue a tu pueblo con justicia, a tus afligidos con justicia. 
Que los montes traigan prosperidad a los pueblos, las montañas frutos de justicia. 
Que él defienda a los afligidos del pueblo y salve a los hijos de los necesitados; que aplaste al opresor. 
Que dure como el sol, como la luna, por todas las generaciones. 
Que él sea como la lluvia que cae sobre un campo segado, como aguaceros que riegan la tierra. 
Que en sus días florezcan los justos y abunde la prosperidad hasta que no haya luna.

Esta oración es significativa porque es la voz de Salomón que le pide a Dios protección para todas las generaciones. Que sus vidas tengan suficientes días para ver los muchos soles y lunas a través de los años. Así como hay momentos de angustia e injusticia, vendrán tiempos de sanación, de verdad y florecimiento para las próximas generaciones.

Hoy en día, muchas personas en los Estados Unidos ven a las familias migrantes que cruzan la frontera sur como criminales, sin preguntar ¿QUIÉNES están migrando? Sin embargo, durante siglos, las personas han migrado a través de territorios entre el norte y el sur, este al oeste. Para ubicarnos, en nuestro continente Abya Yala nombre en idioma Guna: Tierra de sangre vital y tierra fértil nuestras ancestras han migrado buscando el mejor lugar donde habitar, ¿porqué ahora es considerado un crimen?

El proceso de colonización separaron territorios, empobrecieron a la población originarias y rompieron el continente en pedazos.Abya Yala fue dividido y se levantaron fronteras. Cuando hablamos sobre migración y refugiados no podemos desconectar a las familias, las comunidades y las naciones originarias de la tierra. La población originaria, la cual habita estos territorios por milenios no pueden ser excluidos por una frontera inventada, ¿cómo podemos pensar que K’iche, Cocopah, Gunas, Quechuas y Mapuches, ser extraños en sus propias montañas, ríos y tierras?

Como nativa descendiente, es mi deber ser parte de la demanda que tenemos, mantenemos viva una memoria colectiva que los últimos cinco siglos han querido borrar y no han podido. Aunque el gobierno nos ve como invisibles, todavía estamos aquí a lo largo de las generaciones. Como recordamos, “intentaron enterrarnos, pero no sabían ( los colonizadores) que éramos semillas”. La verdad es que estamos floreciendo, y es el momento de Dios para que el pueblo de Abya Yala se muestre y prospere, como escribe Salomón en los Salmos: “Que las montañas traigan prosperidad a la gente, las colinas el fruto de la justicia”. 

Recordemos que nuestros hermanos y hermanas migrantes que han atravesado la dura frontera; lo han hecho como la familia de Jesus, escapando persecución, hambre. Su migración es muchas veces forzada, la falta de lluvias hace que los sembríos no prosperen. la tierra no produce. Los cambios climáticos son críticos y la inestabilidad gubernamental revela injusticia sistemáticas. 

Aun cuando denunciamos las atrocidades cometidas por las autoridades en la frontera, debemos esforzarnos por conocer y dar la bienvenida a quienes cruzan. Para la población originaria, los muros fronterizos son nuevamente un símbolo de colonización. 

Hoy celebramos la Epifanía y recibimos el nuevo año pidiendo a Dios que las familias migrantes y refugiadas logren la libertad para todas sus generaciones.

La migración no es fácil, la despedida de los que más queremos es doloroso.

¡Dios proteja a nuestros hermanos y hermanas en su camino! 


Juntos oramos: 


Madre Tierra, 
Madre Creadora, 
Madre Dios, 
Pacha Mama, 
Te damos gracias por toda la Vida.

Desde el útero nos conociste, y desde el comienzo de nuestra vida en la humanidad, eres la Creadora plantando, derramando y produciendo vida en abundancia.

Madre Creadora gracias por proveernos el maíz y el frijol para crecer, 
Provéenos papa, maíz y quinua para alimentar a nuestra familia 
Provéenos un corazón para compartir y crecer en comunidad.

Tierra sin fronteras 
Tierra de abundancia 
Tierra llena de sueños 

Dios agradecemos tu cuidado porque, desde el principio, nos conociste.  
Creemos en su protección para nuestras próximas generaciones.

¿Es la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en Estados Unidos una comunidad inclusiva?

Por Yenny Delgado

Cuando la Iglesia cristiana en los Estados Unidos afirma apoyar a la comunidad migrante, ¿qué significa? ¿Cómo demuestra que es una iglesia inclusiva ? ¿Qué sucede cuando los miembros de la iglesia son tratados en un formato patriarcal, no se les da información completa y son tratados como miembros de segunda clase en la mesa comunal? Estas son las preguntas que nos quedan después del impactante despido del reverendo Nelson Rabell de su llamado en “Misión Latina Luterana” en California.      

El domingo 12 de diciembre, la Iglesia Luterana mostró el rostro de la supremacía blanca cuando la Obispo Megan Rohrer y el Consejo del Sínodo de la ELCA Sierra Pacifico decidieron remover al Pastor de la congregación sin consultar a la congregación ni dialogar. Ese domingo, la congregación Misión Latina Luterana en Stockton, CA, tenía la intención de celebrar a la Virgen de Guadalupe. Sin embargo, a diferencia de los domingos anteriores, su amado Pastor no estuvo presente y no predicó. En cambio, la reverenda Hazel Davison predicó un mensaje sin proporcionar información o contexto a la congregación por qué su pastor no estaba presente. 

Esa mañana temprano, la obispo Megan Rohrer despidió al reverendo Rabell y le pidió que no participara en el servicio. Más de 100 mujeres, hombres y niñas quedaron sorprendidos por la falta de sinceridad y respeto. Después de que el Rev. Davidson terminó de predicar, la congregación comenzó a preguntar dónde estaba el Rev. Nelson y por qué no estaba allí.

El Rev. Rabell trabajó de manera comprometida con los miembros de la comunidad para construir una misión latina luterana en Stockton, CA. Su ministerio y testimonio se han centrado en la dignidad de la persona independientemente de su sexo, etnia, estado migratorio u orientación sexual. De hecho, trabajó en defensa de los inmigrantes,  demandó la equidad de trato a través de su participación en el movimiento “las vidas negras importan”, movilizó a la comunidad en medio de la pandemia de COVID-19 para que participen de la vacunación y reciban atención medica.

La congregación no recibió respuesta al solicitar información sobre lo que estaba ocurriendo, la obispo Megan Rohrer y el reverendo Hazel Davidson, por lo que los miembros de la congregación decidieron dejar el templo y caminar hasta la casa del migrante, a dos millas de distancia. Su indignación al marcharse hizo eco de las palabras proféticas de Jesús en Mateo 22:27: “¡Ay de ustedes, maestros de la ley y fariseos, hipócritas! Sois como sepulcros blanqueados, que por fuera se ven hermosos, pero por dentro están llenos de huesos de muertos y de todo inmundo”. 

La comunidad se abrieron paso cantando y cargando a la Virgen, la cruz y las flores que habían colocado ese domingo por la mañana en el Altar, decidieron hacer el Altar en “el Camino”. La comunidad de Cristo sabe que las cuatro paredes de un edificio ni las sillas no forman la iglesia; en cambio, la comunidad de fe inclusiva y solidaria se unen para resistir y aunque sin templo, saben qué son iglesia en comunidad.     

Hasta el momento la única comunicación oficial de la ELCA solo menciona que “el domingo fue un día muy difícil en nuestro sínodo. Muchos de ustedes han escuchado que el Sínodo tuvo que informar a Mision Latina Luterana que ya no tenían un desarrollador de misiones “. ¿Qué quieren decir? ¿se puede descartar a un “desarrollador”? Las acciones y actividades reflejan un sistema colonial y patriarcal para eliminar un liderazgo que trabaja en favor de la población migrante. Y como dice el reclamo de los miembros, ¿tenía que ser el día de celebración de la virgen de Guadalupe?      

Es lamentable que una organización no brinde transparencia y honestidad a sus miembros y despida a puerta cerrada a una persona tan importante en la comunidad. En un video realizado el servicio del domingo 12 de diciembre muestra el reclamo de las y los miembros. Para acceder al video está disponible en línea aquí.Escuche en el minuto 33 como la comunidad pide información de lo que esta sucediendo.

La experiencia de las y los miembros este pasado domingo muestra no solo un maltrato al Rev. Rabell sino a toda la congregación. Este sucede debe ser un llamado de atención para la iglesia cristiana en términos de superar su historia de discriminación y supremacía blanca para decidir y liderar la iglesia. Desafortunadamente, incluso en 2021, la idea de que todos somos una familia en Cristo Jesús no se sostiene según las noticias recientes.

¿Qué está sucediendo en el Concilio del Sínodo de Sierra Pacifico de la ELCA, y por qué la comunidad de la misión luterana son tratados como miembros de segunda clase en el Cuerpo de Cristo?

_____________________

Yenny Delgado

Psicóloga y teóloga. Escribe sobre las intersecciones entre memoria ancestral, etnicidad, política y fe pública.

Is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America an inclusive community? 

When the Christian Church in the United States claims to support the migrant community, what does it mean?  How does it show that it is open to ethnic and ancestral diversity and that everyone is treated equally?  What happens when church members are treated in a patriarchal format, not given complete information, and treated as second-class members at the communal table. These are the questions we are left with after the shocking dismissal of Pastor Rev. Nelson Rabell from his call at “Mision Latina Luterana” in California. 

On Sunday, December 12, the Lutheran Church showed the face of white supremacy when Bishop Megan Rohrer and the Synod Council of the Sierra Pacific ELCA decided to remove a Pastor from the congregation without consultation or dialog. That Sunday, the Mission Latina Luterana congregation in Stockton, CA, intended to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe. However, unlike previous Sundays, their beloved Pastor was not present and did not preach. Instead, Reverend Hazel Davison preached a message without providing information or context to the congregation why their Pastor was not current.Earlier that morning, Bishop Megan Rohrer dismissed Rev.Rabell and asked him not to participate in the service. Over 100 women, men, and children who are primarily of Native American ancestry and identify as Latino attended were surprised by the lack of sincerity and respect. After Rev. Davidson finished preaching, the congregation began to ask where Rev. Nelson was and why he was not there.

Rev. Rabell worked committedly with community members to build a Latin Lutheran mission in Stockton, CA.  His ministry and witness have focused on the person’s dignity regardless of sex, ethnicity, immigration status, or sexual orientation. Indeed, he worked to mobilize the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in response to the growing cries for more significant racial equity after the shocking number of George Floyd.

The congregation received no response from Bishop Megan Rohrer and Rev. Hazel Davidson, so the congregation members decided to leave the temple and walk to the migrant’s home, two miles away. Their indignation in walking out echoed the prophetic words of Jesus in Matthew 22:27: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” They made their way singing and carrying the Virgin, the cross, and the flowers they had placed that Sunday morning in the Altar and decided to make the Altar in “el Camino.” The community of Christ knows that the four walls of a building and pews do not make the church; instead, the inclusive and supportive community of faith is at the heart of the Christian message. 

The only official communication from ELCA to date only mentions that “Yesterday was a very difficult day in our synod.  Many of you have heard that the Synod had to inform Mision Latina Lutherana that they no longer had a mission developer.” What do they mean?  The actions and activities reflect a colonial and patriarchal system to remove leadership on the Feast of Guadalupe. 

It is lamentable for an organization not to provide transparency and honesty with its members and dismiss staff right before the most important holidays.  A video of the service from Sunday, December 12, is available online here; at minute 33, you can hear the members’ requests for answers and decide to go outside in support of Rev.Nelson Rabell. 

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

This exhortation from the epistle of Galatians is the clarion call for the Christian church in terms of overcoming its history of outright discrimination, white supremacy, and hate. Unfortunately, even in 2021, the idea that we are all one family in Christ Jesus is equal does not hold based on the recent news. What is happening at Sierra Pacific Synod Council of ELCA, and why are migrant and many native populations treated as second-class citizens in the Body of Christ?

Inclusive Communities. Hope for women living with HIV

Women’s living with HIV increases every day in the face of discrimination, inequality, impoverishment. The lack of inclusive communities that promote healthy coexistence impacts women’s ability to navigate society after a positive diagnostic. As a community of faith, the church can and should provide support and accompany people living with HIV and AIDS.  

An open and inclusive community can give hope to women living with HIV and help to prevent discrimination.

Feminization of HIV

The United Nations’ most recent data from 2021 shows that 53% of people living with HIV are women and girls.  Many of the women live in impoverished situations and have adequate information. Moreover, approximately a quarter of people living with HIV do not know they are infected, and not knowing they are infected puts them and others at risk.  

Many societies have already marginalized women and girls’ voices and opportunities, but a positive HIV diagnosis’s added burden can further close doors.  Indeed, the rejection, stigma, and discrimination towards women have a significant impact, especially in a conservative society that does not openly discuss sexuality. 

Married and single women are infected every day. The marital and partnership infidelity and promiscuity of men coupled with abuse led to adverse situations. Patriarchal societies have created a system of double standards with different parameters to measure the behavior of men and women, justifying the mistreatment and exclusion of the female body, leading it to bear great suffering. The double standard is compounded by the expectations that women should be faithful, passive, modest, submission and resign themselves to all the conditions men set for them. 

The virus outbreak walks along with various factors in terms of gender and power relations. The behavior patterns regulated by an oppressive system show the inequality and abuse in which women live, which creates and maintains vulnerability in the transmission of the virus and, therefore, the feminization of HIV.  

Faced with this situation, many women may feel trapped and unable to do something to improve and deal with their condition, losing interest in continuing to live.  When starting treatment, women must be in situations daily and for the rest of their lives. It is essential to highlight that if medical treatment is accompanied by family support, a good diet, a positive attitude, and participating in a supportive community, infected individuals can manage many aspects of the disease.

Resistance is the action of hope

For women living with HIV, hope is a strength and a spiritual experience since it is related to the search for themselves, the value of their bodies, and the meaning of life. Some women mobilized and approached in support groups. Women are creating an alternative of coexistence that allows them to live in better conditions, creating communities that enable them to face discrimination and impoverishment more effectively, situations in which they live.

Living with HIV is no longer a diagnosis of death. Still, a new life condition allows them multiple challenges and opportunities to grow as women, show themselves, and assert rights they did not recognize before. 

From a pastoral and theological lens, congregations and community members need to be a place of sanctuary and welcome.  As individuals recognize that God walks by their side, restores dignity, and allows them to begin the process of restoring their identity, that is, of the image they have of themselves and the desire to revalue it, that they are God’s image. 

Women are no longer alone; it is God who has taken his side walking amid their suffering. Hope is now oriented towards the future, through the transformation of the present, and in the search for the fullness of life.

Inclusive faith communities

The proposal to live in an inclusive community is an alternative to the vertical, authoritarian, and exclusive system that separates and oppresses women living with HIV. We believe that an inclusive community must live the values of the kingdom of God, which allow us to think and resist, a place where we share our experiences, experiences, and struggles that living with HIV brings.

Undoubtedly, the hope that women have as the certainty that God is with them renews the struggle to continue living. Building this inclusive community is not only being a meeting space; it must be sought to be a space for spiritual development that allows us to grow, liberate ourselves and accompany us in resistance.

As communities of faith, we must believe God gives us a double portion of strength and hope that allows us to become a community that allows itself to be accompanied and accompanied. There is no doubt that God shows his presence in all its fullness.

__________________

Yenny Delgado

Psychologist and theologian. Ruler elder in the PCUSA. She is a doctoral student in Sciences of Religions at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She writes about the intersections between ancestral memory, politics, and public faith.