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The Aesthetics and Ethics of FaithA Dialogue Between Liberationist and Pragmatic Thought$
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Christopher D. Tirres

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199352531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199352531.001.0001

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Liberation in the Latino/a Americas

Liberation in the Latino/a Americas

Retrospect and Prospect

(p.42) 3 Liberation in the Latino/a Americas
The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith

Christopher D. Tirres

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of how a number of U.S. Latino/a theologians, who are indebted to an earlier tradition of Latin American liberation theology, have attempted to answer the question: How may the aesthetics of popular religion be integrally linked to its ethical dimensions? The author argues that while some important inroads have been made, more clarity is needed. The chapter opens with an examination of the largely misguided claim that liberation theology reduces faith to politics. It reviews some of the more prominent critiques issued by the Vatican and Joseph Ratzinger, underscoring the philosophical differences between detractors and supporters. The chapter then moves to a discussion of contributions and possible pitfalls latent in U.S. Latino theology’s “aesthetic turn.” The author discusses the work of Alejandro Garcìa-Rivera, Roberto Goizueta, Marìa Pilar Aquino, and Ada Marìa Isasi-Dìaz, among others. The chapter ends with a consideration of various metaphors for human action. Borrowing from the work of Hans Joas, the author considers how the pragmatic paradigm of “intelligence and reconstruction” can serve to reframe three metaphors that often characterize liberationist discourse: expression, production, and revolution.

Keywords:   liberation theology, Latino theology, Vatican, Ratzinger, Garcia-Rivera, Goizueta, Aquino, Isasi-Diaz, Joas, pragmatism

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