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ERIC Number: EJ896882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0160-5429
Decolonization and the Politics of Syncretism: The Catholic Church, Indigenous Theology and Cultural Autonomy in Oaxaca, Mexico
Norget, Kristin
International Education, v37 n1 p78-96 Fall 2007
The author's examination of Indigenous Theology and the indigenous pastoral is based on several periods of research over the past ten years in both rural and urban areas of Oaxaca state in Mexico, including participant-observation in several different kinds of church-directed settings and activities, and extensive interviews with clergy and laypersons on their views of transformations within the church. With ample opportunity to observe the articulation of official and popular religiosities in various contexts, the author has become particularly interested in the ways that religion has come to inform Oaxacans' identities and shape their political affiliations. Thus, as she underscores the role of religion as concrete practice, not abstract theology, the basis of her discussion is a particular context wherein a Catholic liberation theological version of Indigenous Theology has been implemented, with the implicit goal of creating a "Popular Church" that would work to instill in indigenous people a more critical consciousness and fortified indigenous identity--and, indirectly, address the social ills that affected indigenous people especially. Her discussion suggests that while liberation theological-Indigenous Theology as a concept promises a radical program for the socio-politically transformative role of (institutional) religion, as actual practice of the Catholic Church, its decolonizing potential is strongly weakened by its apparent refusal to engage with indigenous peoples except through an essentializing perspective of cultural difference. Rather than a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the logical underpinnings of indigenous theology, which is not possible, the goal of this essay is instead to offer a few observations for future consideration of the possibilities--and the limitations--of Christian theological programs for progressive social change, especially in non-Western settings.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico