Book Review

Lois Ann Lorentzen, Joaquin Jay Gonzalez III, Kevin M. Chun, and Hien Duc Do, eds. Religion at the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana:

Reporting the findings of a four-year ethnographic study conducted by the Religion and Immigration Project (RIP) at the University of San Francisco, the anthology explores the complex ways religion supports and resists assimilation into United States civic life. Investigating five ethnic populations—Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Mexican, and Salvadoran immigrants, it builds on scholarship that documents the multiple identities, complex negotiations, and diversity across geographic terrains.

Cecilia González-Andrieu. Bridge to Wonder: Art as Gospel of Beauty

Imagine the Golden Gate Bridge … a span striking in shape, color, and line; a structure held up by multiple strands of braided steel wire. Keep this image in mind, because it is key to understanding Cecilia González-Andrieu’s Bridge to Wonder: Art as Gospel of Beauty. The author uses the Golden Gate Bridge as a recurring metaphor in this work of theological aesthetics in which she demonstrates “interlacing,” her method of engagement with the theological and the artistic.

Nancy Pineda-Madrid. Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juarez

Suffering and Salvation in Ciudad Juarez, by Nancy Pineda-Madrid is a short yet multi-layered text, in which she mounts a poignant critique of Anselm’s doctrine of salvation by analyzing how society overlooks the ritualistic killing of women in Ciudad Juarez. She outlines the shortcomings of Anselm’s innovative yet often misconstrued theology and makes a case for an alternative vision that shifts the notion of salvation from an individual right relationship with God to a communal understanding of salvation that necessitates right relation between humans, creation and God. This shift forces theologians to respond to instances of evil in the world.

Elaine A. Peña. Performing Piety Making Space Sacred with the Virgin of Guadalupe

Vibrant acts of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe create sacred space across national borders, in public streets and deserted highways, through brief prayers and exhausting marches, from rural villas to bustling urban spaces. Such devotion cuts across divisions. It links male and female, public action and private faith, ‘official’ Catholicism and ‘popular’ religion. Elaine Peña illustrates this in her insightful book, Performing Piety.

Bernando Campos. De la Reforma Protestante a la Pentecostalidad de la Iglesia: Debate sobre el Pentecostalismo en América Latin

Bernando Campos. De la Reforma Protestante a la Pentecostalidad de la Iglesia: Debate sobre el Pentecostalismo en América Latina.

Quito: Ediciones Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias, 1997, pp.112, $5.00.

Theology: Expanding the Borders. The Annual Publication of the College Theology Society. Volume 43.

Theology: Expanding the Borders. The Annual Publication of the College Theology Society. Volume 43.

Edited by María Pilar Aquino and Roberto S. Goizueta. Mystic, CT: Twenty-third Publications, 1998. Pages, xiii + 333. Paper, $14.95.

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Leonardo Boff. Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor.

Leonardo Boff. Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor.

Maryknoll: Orbis, 1997. Pages, xii +242. Paper, $22.00.

Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor presents a new insight in theological thinking. Boff connects the cry of the Earth’s oppressed and marginalized with the cry of the Earth itself. His background in Latin American liberation theology gives him a unique perspective with which to address this blending of ecology and theology.

Cruz Review of Nanko-Fernandez Theologizing en Espanglish

Carmen Nanko-Fernández. Theologizing en Espanglish: Context, Community, and Ministry. Foreword by Gary Riebe-Estrella, SVD. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2010. Pages, xx + 188. Paper, $25. ISBN: 9781570758645.

Theologizing en Espanglish: Context, Community, and Ministry is a tour-de-fuerza synthesis and advancement of Latino/a Christian thought on ministry and theology, two “inextricably intertwined” communal enterprises (xviii). Several chapters are reworked from earlier published articles by Carmen Nanko-Fernández, yet these updated writings complement the book’s newer material, offering greater unity of content than is typically found in a scholar’s reader of essential writings.

Nanko-Fernández explores several implications of her recognition that experiences of life together en lo cotidiano [in daily life] constitute the revelatory sources for, and context of, theological reflection—its locus theologicus. She challenges theologians to critical awareness of the contexts and relationships within which we are embedded and implicated, and which unavoidably shape the content and horizons of our thought. She finds this critical awareness lacking, for example, in the distant and linear See, Judge, Act method of theologizing. Further, Nanko-Fernández argues that recognizing lo cotidiano as the source and context of our theologizing also demands our making lo cotidiano a hermeneutical lens and epistemic principle within our theologizing.

Van Wensveen review of Garcia Dignidad Ethics Through Hispanic Eyes

Dignidad: Ethics through Hispanic Eyes. By Ismael García. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997. Pages, 190. Paper, $16.95. ISBN: 0687021340

Reviewed by: Louke Van Wensveen

In Dignidad, Ismael García interprets the moral language of Hispanic Americans and offers his own critical perspective as an Hispanic Christian ethicist. The book follows in the footsteps of his earlier work, Justice in Latin American Theology of Liberation (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1987), with a substantial chapter on justice (chapter two) and a consistent focus on the themes of oppression and liberation. However, in Dignidad the scene moves to the United States, where we find a diverse Hispanic community trying to carve out a place of dignity. García joins pioneering ethicists such as Anthony Cortese and Ada María Isasi-Díaz in providing a theoretical articulation of this distinct praxis.

Reynolds Review of Kendall and OCollins In Many and Diverse Ways In Honor of Jacques Dupuis

Kendall, Daniel and Gerald O’Collins, eds. In Many and Diverse Ways: In Honor of Jacques Dupuis. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2003. Pages, xiv + 290, $30.00. ISBN: 1570755108

Reviewed by: Gabriel Reynolds

In Many and Diverse Ways is a Festschrift in honor of Belgian Jesuit theologian Jacques Dupuis on his eightieth birthday. As one might expect, it is made up of articles by prominent theologians on subjects cognate to the work of Dupuis, which itself is catalogued at the end of the volume in an exhaustive bibliography. Yet what distinguishes this volume is its relation to the most recent phase of Dupuis’ career: the publication of his Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism and the subsequent investigation thereof by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which culminated in an official notification on 24 January, 2001. These events form the backdrop for all of the eighteen articles of In Many and Diverse Ways, which thereby enter into the lively current debate on religious pluralism. The focus of this volume on this question is also reflected in the inclusion of a second bibliography, which includes the many documents and academic reviews related to Dupuis’ book and the CDF’s investigation. Thus In Many and Diverse Ways is more than a Festschrift: it is an enterprise of collaborative theological speculation on religious pluralism.