The Red Couch: Mujerista Theology Introduction

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red couch - mujerista theology - introduction

When I first dedicated my writing to the Glory and Honor of the Most High, I thought I would be the only Latina for miles writing about God, while seeking justice for the oppressed. I was hired by Tintero Projects to read poetry at #NoBanNoWall: Women Writers Unite along with fierce women who both voiced deep poetic reflections on immigration, justice, peace, and liberation. It was at this reading that I met Hannah. She introduced me to the late theologian, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz.

As a result, my world opened up to a greater possibility of voices in the church who were neither passive nor self-serving, but rather seeking freedom from the bondage of systemic oppression. The topics of discussions I was having with my husband had already been written by this brilliant theologian. Where had I been? There, my insatiable quest for the theology of justice and peace began. The more I uncovered Latinx theology for myself, the more I learned I just hadn’t been looking.

Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century comes to me at a time when understanding theology from the perspective of a woman of color has profound implications for where the church is going. Mujerista Theology is an introduction to Latinx women’s liberation theology. It is a grouping of essays that are indicative of the struggle faced by so many in our current political climate. The major themes of the text are solidarity, empowerment, encountering God, liturgy, and rituals.

This body of work defines la lucha, the struggle, to remain diligent in matters of freedom from oppression. Isasi-Diaz identifies ways we often compartmentalize oppression to the point where we then become the oppressors. Solidarity with our neighbors and the subjugated is key to fighting for matters of justice and peace. Isasi-Diaz challenges her readers to learn from “grassroots Hispanic women” when she offers that “Christ is among us when we strive to live the gospel message of justice and peace.”

I’m encouraged by how Isasi-Diaz transforms our perspective of what it means to serve as a witness for Christ. Although not all readers will ascertain the same reflections, I’m confident that this text will shed light on Latinx women and our struggle for liberation. White women who support and provide space for women of color to speak and be heard are great allies in the struggle for liberation.

I had to read this book a couple of times because it was academic for me. I’m not versed in seminary nor do I have a degree in theology. Yet, because she wrote about my friends, family, me, and my sisters, I found myself more willing to grapple with the text. I felt a hunger for its contents and its insights toward learning more about myself and more about Christianity as it pertains to women of color, in particular, Latinx women. My center of gravity was in tune with its core values and standards. I hope it stirs a new perspective and outlook when readers approach the call of speaking out against marginalization in matters of peace and justice.

Many of Isasi-Diaz’s readers may not be of Hispanic origin, a term I use loosely in this introduction, because it is a term the colonizer used to categorize Latinxs. Yet, the book invites its reader to the table. If you are a willing participant in the reality of exile, you’ll find that Mujerista Theology is a text to continue to study and carry on the conversation.   

I invite you to sit with Mujerista Theology and make a concentrated effort to understand the groundwork which has been laid out for Latinxs in the struggle to keep Christ as the central light in our soul, whilst seeking justice where it is due in our lives and in the lives of our neighbors. As I continue to decolonize my theology and make space for my ancestors to speak wisdom into my life, I continue to grapple and hold dear texts like Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz’s, Mujerista Theology. It is because of these texts that Latinx are bold to say that we will bring ourselves to the table, each and every time because God wills it in us to do so.

Hermanas, sisters, amigas, friends, I invite you to read Mujerista Theology with an open mind and heart. Imagine a world where we each hold space for the struggle of one another and that we are encouraged by hope. I urge you to hold a faith so deep that the struggle of people of color is at the forefront of reimagining the gospel and our collective church. Will you join me?

Come back Wednesday, March 28 for our discussion post and join our Facebook group to discuss the book throughout the month. This is a big text and we’ll be providing plenty of additional resources in our Facebook group to help you along the journey.

the nightstand -sheloves book club

The Nightstand: A short list of books to enhance and deepen your reading experience.

Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk by Delores S. Williams

A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology, edited by Maria Aquino, Daisy L. Machado, and Jeanette Rodriguez

We Drink From Our Own Wells: The Spiritual Journey of a People by Gustavo Gutierrez

Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective by Justo L. González

Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to Women of the Torah and the Throne by Wilda C. Gafney

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Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros is a poet, writer, and blogger who pens on the gristle of family and faith at the intersection of Latinidad and theology. Her work appears in The Acentos Review, Rock & Sling: a journal of witness, The Lookout Magazine, and others. She is a member of The Redbud Writers Guild, Christian Women Communicators of Color, Poets & Writers, and is currently working on a chapbook which addresses and explores her indigenous roots and her ancestry as a woman of faith. She is an advocate of diverse publishing, writes book reviews, hosts interviews, and writes at CisnerosCafe.org. Follow her on Twitter where she encourages and sometimes ruffles feathers at @CisnerosCafe.
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

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