PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA
November 23-26, 2019

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  • Books under Discussion
Women's Caucus
Theme: Saturday Emerging Scholars: Redefining Fields: Considering New Resources
Unregistered Participant, Presiding
Theresa A. Yugar, California State University, Los Angeles, Presiding
Saturday - 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Convention Center-14A (Mezzanine Level)

The disciplinary histories of religious and theological studies have been shaped by
patriarchy, White supremacy, and colonialism in ways that are being challenged in new
introductions to both fields: Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Susan Shaw’s Intersectional
Theology: An Introductory Guide and Sarah Bloesch and Meredith Minister’s Cultural
Approaches to Studying Religion: An Introduction to Theories and Methods. Both texts
seek to redefine their respective fields by reimagining foundational patterns of teaching
and interventions in theology and religion courses. This roundtable explores these
interventions creating a path toward better introductions to both fields, cooperation
between the disciplines, and reducing the need to draw sharp lines to protect
hegemonic ways of knowing.

Alejandro Escalante, University of North Carolina
Unregistered Participant
Sheryl Johnson, Graduate Theological Union
Unregistered Participant
Sarah Bloesch, Elon University
Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Earlham School of Religion
Meredith Minister, Shenandoah University
Susan M. Shaw, Oregon State University
Christian Spirituality Unit
Theme: Liberation: Perspectives from Christian Spirituality
Diana L. Villegas, University of the Free State, Presiding
Sunday - 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire 411A (Fourth Level)

This session examines Latin American liberation spirituality. Through the lens of liberation spirituality, presenters explore views about the Spirit, martyrdom, imago Dei, U.S. immigrant detention and deportation, and the influential thoughts of Ignacio Ellacuría.

Michael O'Sullivan, Spirituality Institute for Research and Education
Spirituality of Liberation: Thirtieth Anniversary of the Martyrdom of University President, Ignacio Ellacuria, and Jesuit Companions

Just over 50 years ago the Latin American Catholic bishops stated: ‘By its own vocation, Latin America will undertake its liberation at the cost of whatever sacrifice’. Thirty years ago this month of November Ignacio Ellacuria, the Rector/President of the Jesuit University in San Salvador, and his five Jesuit companions were assassinated. This paper will highlight that they died as martyrs because they lived a Christian spirituality of liberation. It will highlight how Ellacuria in his leadership of the university dedicated himself to seeing that the normal functions of a university such as research, teaching, public lectures, publications and what he called ‘social projection’ served what he called “the liberation of the Salvadorean people”. He took this approach because, for him, “A Christian university must take into account the gospel preference for the poor” even though 'it cannot fail to be persecuted' for doing so.

Colleen Cross, University of Notre Dame
"Unlocking Human Dignity": A Spirituality of Liberation from the Context of U.S. Immigrant Detention and Deportation

In this paper I examine a spirituality of liberation from the context of U.S. immigrant detention and deportation. Within a system where the operative ideologies, narratives, and practices serve to significantly dehumanize and ‘other’ the migrant to the point that they are considered nonpersons, an authentic understanding of liberation not only demands consideration on political, structural, and interpersonal levels, but must be attentive to human dignity and the imago Dei, which have been violated and negated through this multi-layered violence. Using the framework of Latin American liberation theology, specifically the role of the ‘crucified peoples’ as privileged bearers of God’s offer of salvation, and thus of the imago Dei, I contend that while the Christian community participates in aspects of this liberation, it is migrants themselves who are agents not only of their own liberation, but of that of the whole world.

David de la Fuente, Fordham University
The Liberating Spirit of the Crucified: Ellacuría’s Liberation Spirituality and Pneumatologies of Abiding and Resistance

Ignacio Ellacuría defines Christian spirituality as the real presence of the Holy Spirit appropriated in the lives of persons, communities, and institutions who want to be Christian. Though Ellacuría offers a consistently trinitarian theological response to the weight of the reality of sin and suffering in the world, he surprisingly does not talk explicitly about the Spirit specifically. Yet there is an opportunity to appreciate a subtlety in Ellacuría’s Christology and also carry forward Ellacuría’s robust liberation spirituality today. This paper will argue that Ellacuría has a covert Spirit Christology as evidenced by his preference for the synoptic gospels (especially Luke) in his Christological writings. Furthermore, to demonstrate the enduring significance of Ellacuría’s thought, this paper will bring his work into dialogue with contemporary pneumatologies of Shelly Rambo and Grace Ji-Sun Kim to show the enduring significance of liberation spirituality more fully pneumatologically considered.