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Latino/a Theology

Catholic Theological Society of America
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  • Economics
  • Religious Science


CTSA060.pdf 142 CTSA Proceedings 60 / 2005 LATINO/A THEOLOGY Topic: Diversity, Hybridity, and Commonality Convener: Gary Riebe-Estrella, Catholic Theological Union Presenter: James B. Nickoloff, College of Holy Cross Respondent: Carmen Nanko-Fernández, Catholic Theological Union U.S. Latinos/as were once viewed as a cultural monolith and are still often spoken about as if we were. However, we have always identified ourselves by our country of origin and then by our “otherness” in the U.S. context. In fact, our identities actually have always been far more complex and are growing more so as Latinos/as intermarry across lines of national origin, reflect a wide spectrum of social and economic class, are more forward about our racial diversity, acknowl- edge the various denominational strains in our religiosities, and become more open in revealing issues of sexual orientation. Much U.S. Latino/a theology has reflected an overly simplified U.S. Latino/a identity. In his presentation entitled “The Word Entombed Still Speaks,” James Nickoloff tackles a pivotal assumption in most discussions about identity: whether identity is founded principally on difference (the uniqueness of the self and the embrace of the other), on hybridity (the uniqueness of each mixture), or on sameness. Nickoloff argues for the foundational principle of sameness, primarily because of its liberating force for those who are considered as “other,” marginalized by social class or, in Nickoloff’s particular focus in this paper, by their homosexual or lesbian orientation. Looking at people from the perspective of sameness (what Nickoloff calls the “homo-mind”), the marginalized claim their identity as being the same as those who oppress them and in this assertion force upon the oppressors the unwelcome truth of their shared common humanity, as found in the creation narratives of Genesis. They speak “homo-truth” in their attempt to unmask the use of power to turn differen

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