The role of feminism within Latina theological scholarship has, from the outset, been an issue of serious debate and contention. Latina theologians that claim a feminist voice are confronted with two obstacles from the outset: first, the reception of a feminist hermeneutic from their male colleagues; and second, the viability of feminism as a theoretical tool and designator for Latina theological contributions. Whether one claims a feminist voice or not, the impact that feminist theology has had upon Latina theologies is profound. In this essay, I explore these tensions within Latina feminist theological scholarship in light of the future of this particular theological collective. My comments are in conversation with feminist theologies as a whole, personified by the groundbreaking insights of Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza.
In his overview of Latino/a theology, Orlando Espin highlights the growing impact of Latina feminist contributions to Latino/a theology. However, Espin notes,
We would be daydreaming and lying to ourselves if we thought that
this increased awareness and reception of feminist concerns and
issues has occurred without tension, that it's a "done deal," or
that most of feminist critical theory has been understood,
assimilated or even read by most Latino/a theologians (who are
males). Unfortunately, much Latino/a theology pays lip service to
feminism, while ignoring it methodologically. (1)
Due to a lack of attention to the concerns and insights of feminist thinkers, Latinos, for the most part, have marginalized women's contributions as exclusively feminist critiques and/or as pertaining solely to women's concerns. Thus nearly all theology written by women is uncritically deemed "feminist," a term that remains inadequately defined within Latino/a theology.
The failure of Latino/a... [continues]
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