Women & Theologies from the Global South, week 5

Elsa Tamez and Latin American Contexts

Morning Ritual
This week’s centering ritual was provided by Rebecca. Becky is a Deacon, she shared experiences within her spiritual path that has brought her to where she is today. It’s always inspiring to meet and study alongside wonder women. The picture includes artwork she returned with from South America (the red one) as well as several of her “Stoles” a sash worn by deacons. Have you met a deacon? Did you ask what their stole means?
This is one of my favorite weeks of reading (I might think that every week).  After this week’s course meeting discussion on Hagar, Sarah, and Abraham I’ve noticed there are a lot of TV shows, movies, & pop culture references that follow complicated stories about pregnancy, surrogacy, relationships, and freedom (see: The Romanoff’s). When stories involve the feminine power of creation–our ability to divine and name–these themes around the fullness of women are employed literally and/or symbolically.
How and where do you see themes of feminine power explored?

Week five is the halfway point of this course. Which means midterms and finals are upon us. If I haven’t already, this is when I revisit the syllabus to refamiliarize myself with the requirements for the final. Iliff tries to give students the liberty of expressing our understanding or application of course materials in a variety of methods. Dr. Lee gave us several creative options for ways we can submit our final work.

Option 1. A Research Paper, 10-12 pages (double-spaced); the topic to be negotiated with the professor. Integrating course materials, lectures and discussion, write a research paper related to Women and Christian Theologies from the Global South. 

Option 2. A Teaching Plan (10-12 pages)

Based on your learning of the quarter through readings, conversations and research, create a teaching plan for a specific gender, age, cultural group.

Guidelines: I will pay attention to the following categories:

1.Who is your audience – their age, racial/ethnic, cultural, educational, social, economic, and psychological backgrounds.

2. After identifying your audience, please present the what and why of your curriculum: “Because of the needs of my audience and my teaching contexts (why), I believe my topic (what) is very important for them…” You can include your Purposes and hoped for learning outcomes here.

3. Show how you will cover your subject and in what ways: sequence, methods, etc. Include the outline of the whole curriculum you are developing, that is, if your curriculum has more than one lesson — the title and purpose of each lessons. I will pay attention to how each lesson contributes to the overarching theme of your curriculum, and how each lesson works toward your hoped for learning outcomes.

4. Please provide a very detailed description of one particular lesson/part of your curriculum:
– Subjects and purposes/ hoped for learning outcomes of that lesson and why and how it is important to meet your main purposes.

– Materials needed;

– Planned Activities — lecture, activities, etc. and your rationale for them, how long for each activity…

5. Your evaluation plan
Beyond asking your participants several genetic questions, think about how you can measure the quality of your curriculum.  How can you know whether your purposes have been achieved?

Option 3. Design a Blog or Webpage (includes webtoons) for Educational Resources to address issues raised by scholars and course materials we studied.  You can create the site whatever way you want, but it should include/reflect your engagements with course materials and further researches.

Option 4.Propose other ideas to me!

[what would you submit?]

Annotated Readings:
Elsa Tamez, “The Women Who Complicated the History of Salvation,” in New Eyes for Reading: Biblical and Theological Reflection by Women in the Third World, ed. John S. Pobee and Mabel von Wartenberg-Potter (Geneva: WCC, 1986), 5-17.
Tamez walks through the details of Hagar stories with a Latin American feminist lens, addressing gender, class, equality, and hope in facing the future. “The poor complicate the history of salvation. But God’s action on their behalf teaches us that we should reconstruct this well-known history.” (p. 17)

Elsa Tamez, “Cultural Violence against Women in Latin America,” in Women Resisting Violence: Spirituality for Life, ed. Mary John Mananzan and J. Shannon Clarkson (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2004), 11-19.
Tamez explains through praxis her guiding principles of cultural hermeneutics, first, we must “question our own traditions that legitimize violence against women”. Second, “we must seek intercultural dialogue with mutual respect.” Third, We must make an international alliance of women from all cultures and races.” (p. 18)

 _____. “Perspectives on Justification by Faith from Latin America,” in The Amnesty of Grace: Justification by Faith from a Latin American Perspective (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1993), 19-36.
Tamez explains the justification of faith as forgiveness of sins, liberation from guilt through Christ’s death, and reconciliation with God (19). She tries to reconcile how justification is more beneficial to oppressors than the poor.

Ana María Bidegain, “Women and the Theology of Liberation,” in Through Her Eyes: Women’s Theology from Latin America, ed. Elsa Tamez (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989), 15-36.
Bidegain looks at the history of gender relations in Latin America and how it was impacted by colonialism and industrialization. While there were negative impacts, women entering communal workspaces created space for women to determine the necessity for feminine theologies to be considered in partnership with patriarchal traditions. “Because we had to perform our activity in a society like the church–an essentially male-dominated society with a patriarchal ideology, accustomed to relegating women to subordinate functions–we had to, if Imay say so, practically disguise ourselves like men, act with the same combativeness as men, use men’s vocabulary and live a man’s spirituality. In a word, we had to become male, or at least present ourselves as asexual beings.” (28), “Women themselves are surprised at the breadth of their creative capacities.” (33).

María Clara Bingemer, “Women in the Future of the Theology of Liberation,” in The Future of Liberation Theology: Essays in Honor of Gustavo Gutiérrez, ed. Marc H. Ellis and Otto Maduro (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989), 473-90.
Bingemer explores the future of Liberation Theology and it’s increasing inclusion of women’s voices to remind us that theology is never in isolation, it’s always in community. “[Women] bring their own method and a particular perspective with which to conceive and express the traditional topics of the faith within the process of Latin American liberation.” (474). Women also bring to theology the means of combining experience with interdependent action (479).


Thanks for reading,
Emily Nagle

Photography by Seth Nagle


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