The Poor Do Not Have Sex – The Absence of Sexual Discourses in the Construction of the Notion of the Subjectivity in Liberation Theologies in Latin America


Liberation theology in Latin America was structured in God’s preferential option for the poor. This option created a new methodology, re-wrote and re-invented new doctrines and postures theological dialogues initiated with new aprceiros and helped spread other liberation theologies of the world. However, this theology was eventually imprisoned for social sciences and eventually repressing and abandoning important aspects of the life of the poor, including the body and sexual practices. This essay will try to show how these “blind spaces” denounce a totalizing discourse in liberation theology and how that theology confined the notion of poor and subject within their own perspectives and acceptable. The thought of three theologians, namely here: Rubem Alves, Jaci Maraschin and Marcella Althau-Reid is analyzed here in an attempt to show how these three thinkers expanded and limited the possibilities of the idea of the poor in Latin American theology. Then, this paper attempts to provide new questions concerning the definition of the poor and their subjectivity complicating his chances. In the end, new ways are suggested for the further development of liberation theology and its possibilities.


In his book under Embers Ashes , published in 1996, Leonardo Boff tells stories of everyday people he met while traveling in Brazil, especially the poorest Brazilians of our country. In these stories, he portrays eloquently the power of life amid death and life in the midst of those who were segregated, the sheer misery of those who were made part of the financial system, lives lived in dis-grace and in the struggle for dignity and honor, so that the reader is haunted and disturbed by these stories. In one, Boff recounts a visit to a very poor home, where he baptized a child victim who later died of malnutrition a few hours later. After completing the ritual of baptism, before leaving the house, a woman asked him to to his home, which was next door. He describes what happened while he was there alone with that woman:

After the baptism, a lady called me aside. Led me to a closet of his slum. Dirt floor. There was no furniture. The poverty was complete, because dog howling and screaming. We were alone. With a whisper, said – I only know ugly men, sick and thin. He lifted her dress. Showed the parties. Said, confident with eyes full of sparkle – I’m still young. I have 35 years (in fact, seemed to sixty). Can I do it for a moment, happy. You are a man well-fed, beautiful, strong and attractive. I just know ugly men, sick and thin. Give me that happiness. Make love to me! Only one Vezinho. I kept silent. Long silence. The silence of amazement. After quibble – I’m religious. I already have an engagement. So I can not … I should not … I do not want … Your eyes are clouded by disappointment. Later, at home, meditating, I had enough of ashamed of myself. Huge shame. Because I am selfish. I was educated in chastity and abstention. And not as an expression of a greater love. This love knows no bounds. He is beyond good and evil. This woman was more pure than me. Had the capacity to deliver and love. Chastity can not be a goal but a path. Not an end but a means. It’s more than renounce the man woman respectively. It is developing a way of being able to be sensitive to the other … is projecting an aura of confidence about each one able to open up and talk about their intimacy, their pursuits and their failures and meetings without embarrassment … If it was chaste, chastity essential that, who knows if it was holy … would sin. And this sin would have found the God who makes the ‘sin’ grace and ‘grace’ sin.[2]

I believe this text is one of the most beautiful of our recent history of Latin American theology. An emblematic story which I believe is key to understanding the relationship between liberation theology (liberation theology) and the notion of body, sexuality and sexual practices. This paper reports the few times that found in the literature of liberation theology, namely the testimony of a poor person about their sexual desires as well as heard and lived for Boff. It even be surprising that a theologian expose themselves so publicly and share this experience with the risk of being judged by everyone. However, the very act of sharing this experience, Boff shows us how difficult it is to relate the theological task with the surprising events of life, on the other, poor, and what is banned and violently repressed in the other, ie the body and sexuality of the poor. Recognizing that his theology was not prepared to make that link, Boff also reveals that the liberation theologians of the first generation were not equipped to deal with bodies overflowing with desires and sexualities in poverty. The literature of liberation theology seems to show what is not explicit in the texts, namely that our theologians had no tools to work these issues, they had eyes to see them, theological categories to rationalize them, or even defiant imagination to consider that such things exist. Perhaps the surprise of the woman’s desire Boff has reached exactly the same way you would any other theologian, or anyone of us. The courage to Boff puts at risk all of his theology. A theology of liberation that can not deal with the poor seems emblematic. However, his theology is renewed when he confesses that the woman failed to listen and understand your needs because she was paralyzed by the voluptuousness of flesh and burning desire of this woman without a name, I made over a body that is suddenly naked.

This story seems to be a classic example of what was left behind in liberation theology: a discussion on the themes of body and sex life of the poor, the desire, impulses and sexual deviancy, sexual notions about the subject (de ) guidelines sexual transgressions, etc.. These “categories” of thought were never part of the discourse of liberation theology in Latin America. The concrete body, which is related to pleasure and sexual experiences has been forgotten, hidden, denied, despised, seen as inappropriate, unnecessary and merely incidental to the practice so as to theological discourse.

Moreover, in the history of liberation theology in Latin America (TdLAL), patriarchy, racism and homophobic tendencies were elements of drawing the body (un) conscious of liberation theology through its selective use of sources Materials, Hermeneutic Approaches, Political Theories, Economic Criticism, Lenses phenomenological and theological engagement. All this wrapped up within the limits of Reason. These commitments and choices “uppercase” formatted all the speeches of liberation theology, creating blind spots in the aspects “tiny” of human categories that have never been correlated to the civilized use of reason: the body, blacks, women, domestic violence, chaos of everyday life, children, relationships unthinkable and its interaction with complex sexual practices. Thus, this binary system of thought denied the possibility of difference and consider the subjectivity of the poor only in certain social categories accepted. If TdL had engaged in thematic case , the history of theology and church in Latin America would have been quite different from what we have today.

We know that over time, liberation theology has become the umbrella that sheltered / houses all the “other” theologies of liberation and the feminist, black, indians and, later, the ecological. These “other” theologies, lived on the frontiers of liberation theology and never took the center of the official discourse. However, these were theologians and their theologies and theologians responsible for the speeches that attempt to address more directly the issues related to body and sexuality. It is worth saying that despite using the term liberation theology in Latin America, I’m worth more sources and evaluations of Brazilian theology.

This essay seeks to establish a dialogue with the legacy of liberation theology and, from the issues of body and sexuality, finding other ways to approach and relate to the reality of the poor. Even without the participation of the poor, my desire here is to talk with the theoretical apparatus that justified liberation theology as it pertains, or that no longer touch, the discourses of the body and sexuality. To do so requires a critical review of resources and methodological system of liberation theology. New theories and philosophies criticisms have arisen since the emergence of the TDL in the 70s, which offer different ways to think, create, deconstruct and reconstruct discourses and fields of study such as post-colonialism, new interpretations of Marxism, feminism and racial theories, theories, queer , post-structuralism, critical theory, social and cultural rights, and so on.

To take into account the existing blind spots in the discourse of liberation theology, I believe it is necessary to start with a critical approach to the notion of subjectivity of the poor as created by liberation theology. The poor methodology of liberation theology seems to have always been considered asexual, structured in a subjectivity founded on notions that do not consider the desiring body of the poor and so guarded conditions required for the complexity and fluidity of sexual identities mutants had no destabilizing effect in the speeches of liberation theology. Strangely, the notion of the subject in TdL mirrored and even strengthened in several ways the individual ( self) colonized by Western European Roman Catholicism for which liberation theology has tried to draw attention and criticism. Instead, the individual doubly colonized (by Europe and North America) in Latin America has never been sufficiently deconstructed to the point of succumbing to even the very foundations of rationality of liberation theology. Only later, due to intense criticism that the liberation theologians began to mention in the footnotes of some repressed issues / case that had been neglected, ie, indigenous peoples, blacks and women. However, the body and sexuality of the poor were never included even in those margins.

In this article, I start contemplating the notion of the individual in liberation theology, and then trace some theological discourses on the body and the possibilities of sexuality found in three thinkers of liberation theology in order to examine how they approached the body and sexuality and how the notion of individual This was built in their theologies. The three thinkers of liberation theology are not, coincidentally, and perhaps understandably, Roman Catholics. They are: the tradition of Presbyterian theologian Rubem Alves and Jaci Maraschin Anglican, both Brazilians, and Quaker Marcella Althaus-Reid, Argentina. I believe that not only these three thinkers we will provide historical perspectives of the creation and development of physical and sexual discourses on liberation theology, but also help us to open new ways of thinking, to catalog new themes, and continue to be for us, thinkers and partners essential process of rethinking the theology of liberation in Latin America

After examining the thinking of these three theologians, enunciate delicate issues regarding the substrate on which is based on liberation theology, that is, using the poor as the main object of theology. The tense notions of representation , my goal is to destabilize the use of the category of “poor” as a trademark theological ready and unquestionable, and conclude by offering possibilities, even though limited and partial, the relationship between liberation theology with the poor. My hope with this research is to propose challenges that take this theological movement in Latin America and maybe the odd new spaces for dialogue and creation.

The subject in Liberation Theology

Compared to the theologies in Europe and North America, the main change proposed in the theology of Latin America was to put the poor and their historical situation and concrete in the center of all theological project. It was necessary to start “bottom” of reality, and from it to guide, illuminate and understand God’s revelation in the Bible and in history. By favoring the poor in shaping the thinking and criticism of society, the poor became axis hermeneutical and epistemological foundation in the social and theological criteria for accessing both the human reality as God. When trying to move the periphery to the center, this theology has struggled to be faithful to those who were excluded from society. The group wanted the liberation theology that was disregarded by the hitherto dominant theological discourses in Latin America. This process of listening to the poor was the commitment to liberation theology in changing the theological center of the production offices to the streets, instead of discussions with well-trained theologians, hinder the poor and their contexts, rather than theoretical and abstract, doing theology begins and ends in practice. This practice not only produced certain “the privileged” but also created a new way of doing theology. Enrique Dussel explains that “… There is a guy privileged producer of theological discourse, often said the theological discourse is marginal, implicit, spontaneous, and resistentência is the popular theology . “[3]

To liberation theology, one must understand the situation in which the poor are located and the reasons why the poor are left outside the economic and social system. As a consequence the theology of liberation theology is the second time , the second step , the next action that would depend on the first act that was the analysis of concrete and material reality. This analysis of reality that would give the poor the tools to understand your situation and see how it would determine their faith in God and his action in the world. Powered by Marxist and socialist movements around the world, liberation theology adopted the Marxist reading of reality with a strong emphasis on the notions of ideology, material reality, the power of the proletariat and understanding of class struggle as the primary structure of Latin American societies.

In the belief that the poor had become the new subject of its own history and of the divine project of liberation, liberation theologians have made the source of the material life of theological thought at the expense of spirituality speculative ahistorical, whether of philosophy or theology. In this sense, the church had a mission to tell the poor what God wanted them, but encourage them to discover what God was telling them through their own lives and practice as they read the Bible in their communities. The ortho doxy,was replaced by ortho- praxis in Christian base communities, ie the practice of everyday life, the experience was a form of interpretation and appropriation of the gospel, not Christian dogma data plus a priori. The experience of the poor was the place to come and mediation of that experience was now ruled by the social sciences rather than the theological canons of the church. How Clodovis Boff states in his seminal book Theology and Practical ,Theology and Its Political Mediations:

In fact, the last originality of liberation theology is not the method, specifically in the use of ‘social sciences’, including Marxism. Is yes, at the root of this method: what gives it a ‘spirit’, a ‘new way’ to use it. And that root is the spiritual experience of the poor. [4]

The hope and belief were aimed at the poor, the new guy in liberation theology, the agent of their own destiny, would become conscious of their situation of oppression and injustice and, therefore, would fight against it by faith politically engaged. The educational approach of Paulo Freire [5]was instrumental in the educational work of catechizers in grassroots communities, and prescribed the following process to access the reality: see, judge, act . This sequence of seeing reality and its mechanism of oppression, to make the necessary decisions about what to accept and to be fought against, and mobilization to turn the situation was the process used to make people aware of their condition, which is known in Latin America as awareness . Religion should no longer be understood as an ideological tool of concealment of injustice and oppression, but rather was now an instrument to detect and dismantle organized and the powers that oppressed society.

The figure of the theologian was also transformed. Rather than be cloistered in their ivory tower theologians now have to live among the poor and understand their reality. The term used to describe these new theologians was coined from Antonio Gramsci: organic intellectual . Gustavo Gutierrez describes this new theologian:

Theologians are engaged in vital personal historical realities in specific times and places. They will be engaged where the nations, social classes and people are struggling to free themselves from domination and oppression of other nations, classes and peoples. In the final analysis, the true interpretation of the meaning revealed by theology is achieved only in the historical praxis.[6]

The TdL raised new hopes and dreams of transformation. She helped create what is now a political party in Brazil, the Workers’ Party (PT), whose leader, Lula ended up being elected president in 2004. However, over time, the liberation theology began to find problems within their own intellectual framework, while it was bombarded by the internal structures of power that renegotiated the control of the liberation theologians. The Roman Catholic Curia was not satisfied with the direction taken by the movement, especially its ecclesiology [7], and began to implode it by transferring priests, bishops and archbishops linked to the Liberation Theology of influential positions in the church across Latin America, and also to silence many of its leaders, like the Brazilian Leonardo Boff and Ivone Gebara. Moreover, the political and economic circumstances in Latin America seemed too difficult to be transformed, and the utopian ideals that used to feed the bodies basic movement, especially the Christian base communities were losing strength and depriving many resistance movements their most basic tools.

The metaphysical use the theological term release was not enough to contain the frustrations and the permanent shortage of stories that changes were expected for the poor. On the other hand, the Pentecostal movement began to grow on all sides with its promises of healing and miracles, and satisfied in part the more immediate anxiety of the poor when it comes to everyday life, such as sickness, unemployment, relationship problems and lack of money. It is not news to anyone that liberation theology has lost its force with the end of the Sandinista Nicarágaua, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe, and other historical reasons related to the manner of doing theology and thinking the poor. Next, make the criticism of some points that I believe in the fundamental methodological composition of liberation theology.

A) Dependence of the social sciences

Stands on the edge of TdL their high dependence on social sciences. By assuming that the first step of theology was the concrete understanding of reality, TdL earned his speeches to the categories of social sciences, especially the Marxist categories, and thus became stuck and some extent a prisoner of its own historical interpretations. As was particularly dependent on the use of system classes to understand the world of Latin American themes that revolved around the TdL were mainly analyzes political, economic underdevelopment and the necessary social revolution. These categories were then translated for the poor as a lack of decent living conditions, unemployment, lack of access to education, food, etc.. and everything else that was embraced in the daily struggle of the people and that was within the larger theme of oppression. In the critical evaluation of liberation theology, John the Baptist quotes Libanius Frei Betto and try to re-size the liberation theology and pastoral care in expanding the horizon of liberation theology:

Need to think of pastoral work and elaaborar reflexes in dialogue with sectors of the middle class and intellectuals, artists, scientists and public opinion makers … In the field of morality, must be extended to the personal moral ènfasse hitherto given to social morality.[8]

But the broadening of thought in liberation theology, primarily related to the rights of the poor, was being threatened both by the fall of the Berlin Wall as the conservative criticism that trumpeted with great joy, that Marxism was dead. At this crossroads of threats, TdL re-emphasizes the (same) rights as a fundamental part of the power spectrum of life and subjectivity of the poor. Again, the rights to sexuality and the pleasures of the body, if not denied, would be part, perhaps the “etc.” of the text of Libanius:

… liberation theology has broadened to such a defense by emphasizing the rights of the poor. The rights of the poor are regarded as God’s rights. Rights to life, and ways of life such as health food, home, work, school, education, social insurance, etc..[9]

Poverty, oppression and injustice are so visible and urgent in Latin America, not without sense, tends to prioritize and regulate the human subject in relation to the basic requirements of human dignity, namely, food, employment, housing and access the health system. This visibility and pulsing urgency, however, led to the liberation theologians to structure the notion of the poor as subject to such burning social issues, forgetting to pay attention to other things in life whose importance was perhaps less evident for survival . The vision of the macro-society crushed the vision of micro-society, not without reason. Thus, this view of the individual overshadowed totalizing social needs and activities of human life supposedly negligible as the pleasures of the body, gender and sexual transgressions, the carnival of lust, obsessions and pathologies, guilt, moral restraints, drugs, the costumes, the transitory, the eccentricities, the wrong , relationships, battered women, the “cordial racism”, spirituality (developed later), possession, trance, and so forth. As a result, liberation theology began to accumulate various blind spots within its own hermetic structure, so that paradoxically, she lost contact with the poor, then your subject privileged.

Analyzing the situation of liberation theology after twenty years, John the Baptist Libanius says:

In theological terms, theology faces a more thorough review of the instruments of analysis. At the meeting of the theologians of SOTER in June 1990, social scientists clashed with the Marxist theoretical framework, which had been used by many theologians, now in Mairo scale, sometimes in minor. It became clear in March that it not only needs to be enlarged, as also reviewed in depth because of Are your weaknesses, among them, the hypertrophy of the class at the expense of cultural and sexual relidade, the inability to analyze the relations of power in the church adapting CACR-analysis of society, the lack of an analysis of the state of ignorance of many new realities that have arisen in this new phase of capitalism, etx. Points as paths greater use of social anthropology, the sociaologia institutions, quantitative methods, theory of action (A. Touraine) … The liberation theology can not remain a prisoner of the concepts of social classes, ignoring the realities as women, children, blacks and Indians.[10]

The rationality of liberation theology was so adorned with this reality and so unfair that his assutadoramente concrete theoretical framework is not able to move beyond the analysis of structures still strictly social, no space for criticism, although social, sexuality, gender and race. The historical subject of liberation theology depended vividly in a sieve and eyeliner very specific reality, wrought still in its infancy. The main body of the work of liberation theology was formed during the 70s and 80s. From the 90s, with the exception of one or another work of greater impact, the liberation theology has lost its way and the new analysis supports that could reconstitute their discourses and practices and became lethargic, less influential and entangled in a web that did not allow much discussion and innovation to create a new theology. Even when attempting to seek other opportunities for dialogue, the emphasis in the social sciences remained as the only axis of access to reality. Disciplines such as economics have been well received in the shaft but social feminism, psychoanalysis, literature, studies of the body, sexual and racial theories, daily life, theories, cultures, political identities, and so did not have major repercussions. The notion of the poor as the main subject of liberation theology was still under the broader categories defined by systems of speech that needed to be revisited. The analysis of the liberation theology made by Libanius, and self-criticism of the movement in 1994, shows an indecisive search for new paths, and also a growing inadequacy to new answers about the shortcomings of this theology.

2) The composition of the liberation theologians

Theological production can also be analyzed not only by what was written, but also by those who wrote it and its origin. The “who”, “where” and “when” doing theology that defines what will be included in their texts, as well as what will be forgotten or excluded from its theological production. In the case of liberation theology, most theologians of this current was male, celibate priests of the Roman Catholic Church who have studied at centers that were still breathing and patriarchal structures that eventually provide the framework within which these theologians established his thinking. The construction of the metaphysical notion of freedom was still attached to binary constructions related to the grand schemes of political structure, social and economic reality, obscuring small and therefore negligible experiences of women, children, black men and women, indigenous and which today has agreed to call or GLBS queer (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and supporters) or even people with physical disabilities.

Even the term “liberation” meant a lot more sense given by a white man and unmarried, studied in Europe in that expression. Feminist struggles, domestic violence, racism, violence against children, sexual exploitation of women and indigenous issues were not part of the radar’s liberation theologian as much as the reality “hidden” from the poor involving violence, drugs, robberies assassinations, and other shady activities that drew the aura of the poor in the discourse of liberation. The liberation theology was not sufficiently equipped to understand the nuances of color differences, gender or race among the oppressed. The Canaanites and “Hagares” of Latin America were not included in most of the speeches of liberation theology. Before, it was only disfigured pictures of reality, and only appeared as appendices to theological work. In other words, women, indigenous and black people were nothing but prosthetic implants in the subjectivity of the poor, causing concern in theological discourse. As for black women, to gays, lesbians and transsexuals, they never even came on the list of appendices to the liberation theology, but they were completely banned from any picture of the subjectivity of the poor.

Mostly, women are theologically understood from the men’s understanding of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Libanius says that the female has incorporated aspects of Mariology, which has grown tremendously and contributed in a substantial way to the theological discussion. He writes: “Mary is presented as a woman of faith, faithful and perfect disciple, concrete expression of God’s preferential love for the poor. The woman of our people feel close to Mary, poor woman, woman of the people. ” [11]As you can see, the poor woman should be characteristic for most of the liberation theologians, faithful, and obedient subject, a perfect disciple whose only assignment was to follow a man, but never leading. Even the category woman became entrapped in the image of Mary, eventually creating the image of virginal asexual woman, who never complained and nothing was done to serve and follow the orders of men. It was only later that thinkers such as Ivone Gebara and Nancy Cardoso, among other women, and faced so many re-structure the female subjectivity in relation to the religiosity of the poor.

With regard to Afro-Brazilians, the first books written on the subject appeared only in the mid 80s. As far as I know, almost all of this published material was written by men. Not a single thinker black liberation theology in Brazil is mentioned in the overview of the liberation theology made by Libanius. It’s an odd contradiction in the blackness of oblivion liberation theology, and at least in Brazil, it is shameful: there is almost total absence of blacks in major works of theology, especially considering that more than half of the Brazilian population is composed of blacks. The situation is even worse when one takes into account the poor Brazilians are, overwhelmingly, blacks living in slums across the country. However, the presence nonexistent subjectivity in black liberation theology is the symptom most apparent subjectivity of the white patriarchal and totalizing in liberation theology.

In addition to blacks, Indians both Brazil and throughout Latin America also occupy the last positions in the index of liberation theology. A proof of this terrifying absence is the first indigenous theological conference of Latin America was only in 1991, when the influence of liberation theology was facing its greatest challenge and was almost in the final moments of his power. Returning to Libanius who in 1994 declared: “Attempts at developing an indigenous theology (” Indians do theology “) are starting.” [12] In large part, the Indians were used only as a supplement to the dialogue of inculturation , which unfortunately was just a dialogue one-way done by white liberation theologians trying to be friendly, from its Christian approach in order to understand , to describe and definewhat the Indians are, and what they believe.

The theological debate on inculturation is also related to popular religiosity and get the same tone of Christian apologetic perspectives, bringing together other Brazilian religions in Christian categories as a means of evangelization. The analysis of popular religiosity is always taken as uncertain, inconsistent, redundant, ambiguous, improper, yet to be completed when crushed against the backdrop of a Christian ideal, full, civilization, constitution, and holding the highest form of rational understanding . Libanius says:

… grows reflection on inculturation. The working document of Santo Domingo acknowledge that the manifestations of popular piety comes one of the expressions of inculturation of the faith, even though there are also expressions superficial and ambiguous … The final text of Santo Domingo also values the popular religiosity as privileged expression of the inculturation of faith, religious expression and values, standards, conduct and attitudes that are born of Catholic dogma and represent the wisdom of our people, making it the cultural matrix.[13]

The Matrix Roman Catholic seems to have encapsulated all religious expressions in Brazil under the Christian perspective. It has been said that the Indian and African religiousness could only be accepted if the concepts understood by Christians. Thus, Christian theology itself as a critical tool to judge and assist the popular religion to discover the proper way to believe and ritualize their faith and to correct the transgressions of other religiousness (poor and non-Christian) in their creations ” idolaters. ”

Thus, minimization of other poor forgotten, the “Canaanites and hagares” are symptoms of the constitution of theologians who have made the liberation theology. It is useful to consult the list of the major theologians of liberation theology, drawn up by another white priest. Antoniazzi says:

Walking through the production of the last twenty years, the first impression is that it is dominated by a generation of theologians who will JB Libanius (b. 1932) Leonardo Boff (b. 1938) and Clodovis Boff (b. 1944). Among them, are clearly religious majority. Some diocesan priests emerge among younger theologians (AJ Almeida, Victor Feller, Luciano Lavalle) or between those of foreign origin (J. Comblin, for ex.). In recent years however, there is an important development: the emergence of lay theologians, men and women. Women theologians are concentrated in Rio de Janeiro, for the laity, religious and there are some scattered. The lay theologians are linked mainly to the PUC-RJ.[14]

The theological grid is established, the partners chosen, the names and themes are data and the hierarchy specified. But certain questions arise in the definition of creative subjects of liberation theology: Who are these lay theologians that the author mentions? Who are the theologians in Rio de Janeiro? As far as extending its influence? What are their names? What do they do? When were they born? What is published? And for the rest of the country? What about other people working with the poor? What about the poor? They are no longer doing theology ? What happened to the practice? The mention of unnamed theologians may be a ruse to disguise his indifference to what is unknown or not seen as important. Unfortunately, this still seems to be the situation of those who are still writing on the theology of liberation theology in Brazil: anonymous. Strangers who live and write about anonymous people.

Women, Indians and blacks could not be more extras than subjects or of Appendices points “d” “e” or “f” of the theological hierarchy, and on which there is always so little to say. And as for gays, lesbians and transsexuals? What about people not religious or other religions? They are also considered poor, or just the poor Roman Catholics are the poor “true”? Moreover, it would be a list of ‘other’ enough, a mere litany of exclusions? How then try to understand the subjectivity of the poor?

3) The understanding of the subject

The TdL intended to encompass all the reality of oppression and injustice in Latin America with the theological discourse. To this end, he chose some of the socioeconomic situation of the marginalized and the poor. In the formation of the concept of subject, the criteria governing the decision of what would be the category of the poor seemed obvious. The number of excluded people in Latin America was so great that those living in absolute poverty were the best choice.

The idea of subject was based on socioeconomic criteria, as we see clearly in Gutiérrez and Idígoras. For Gutierrez, the theology of the human subject was based on the value of the human person, which in turn is related to the notion of work and access to his own product. In condemning the sale , Gutierrez arrives at the core of the identity of the human person: “the alienation suffered by a worker’s absence (a) the results of their work, resulting in the division between the human person and the product generated by it. The divestment is the opposite of true human identity because, under duress, things become more important than people. ” [15]In his Theological Vocabulary for Latin America , Idígoras defines the human person (the oppressed) through values and socioeconomic their relationship with dignity. He says: “However, it also should avoid an overly abstract person … The man (sic) is made concrete through their socioeconomic circumstances and the progressive course of time … Specifically, in our Latin American countries, we have the great task of customizing many of our brothers (sic) “. [16]

This theology of the human person is established as the definition of human subjectivity, understood, and revived only in its material aspects and concrete. However, that determination turns out to be a concept too broad a term characterless , without any reference about sex, race and gender. The socioeconomic subject as it is the poor chosen by TDL and sets the theological discourse in a way that the body, sex, race and gender are always neutral terms. And as we teach Marx, Freud, semiotics and critical theory, neutral terms are never neutral.

This “poor” of liberation theology itself carries no contradictions and can be fully understood and defined. Moreover, the poor can reach its fullness so that socioeconomic status is processed. The guy already carries in itself the specific conditions of their processing. When you see the poor as the center of all theological project, it seems unnecessary to establish the limits or impossibilities in which the poor can participate in this project, let alone the ways in which it will be represented in theological discourse. The discourse of liberation theology above the voice of the poor, would be a unifying project, apparently loyal to those involved but, in fact, much more faithful to the categories of methodological TdL than the poor.

The work of theologians such as organic intellectuals should be to report the stories of the poor and how they understand their reality and, consequently, God and the Bible. However, the stories of the poor were not always socialist stories, or stories that contain the values and notions of liberation theology. On the contrary: the stories of the poor were also stories of immediate needs and understanding undue cyclical structure that had their lives tied to poverty. The organic intellectuals know better the structures of oppression and therefore they say to the poor what they did not know or what they should know, and want to do. As a result, the stories of the poor have become increasingly scarce in the books of liberation theology and rhetoric increasingly serving as a structural backdrop to the doctrinal analysis involved. Furthermore, write the stories told by the poor was an act that necessarily had to pass through the ideological and theological oversight. Only selected positions could turn into theology. If it were not so, what would the theologians when some poor asked the return of military rule in Brazil? Or how they would respond theologically against inappropriate sexual behavior, extramarital sex or the sexual transgressions? Or how could save the romantic idea of the poor when he approved the death penalty or even the end of human rights that only protected criminals and murderers? What to do with this attitude wrong the poor? The theorizing of the praxis of living of the poor soon became somewhat idealized, causing the replacement of the poor as subtle subject that makes theology from the perspective of organic theologians who “knew best” how to properly liberation theology.

It is important to say it was really necessary to affirm and honor TdL strategy so the figure of the poor, in order to shake and move the pillars of theological structures. However, the empowerment of the poor ended up closing in on itself, forming another set theological rationale that confined the poor to the principles of liberation theology.

So this poor guy that encapsulated, it could only do theology according to the tools that have been submitted. This is why the story of Boff becomes a factor of concern. The sex and sexual desire were not on the grid on the horizon of liberation theology or the stories told by the poor liberation theologians. Thus, the stories of the poor were always allowed the stories, stories of socioeconomic deprivation palpable material easy to categorize: stories of oppression, hunger, unemployment and homelessness.

The TdL believed that the process of awareness was the only way to achieve a just world. Participants believed, like Marx, that once aware of their own condition, the poor would become masters of their own history. In that case, poverty was incensed by the intellectuals, becoming, along with suffering, part of a privileged state to redemption. Gradually, poverty has become beautiful, the misery began to hold special blessings and suffering has established itself as the only path to salvation. (It is high time that feminist theologians criticize the cross as a symbol of the glorification of suffering). An hour to the other, poverty has become vital to the survival of liberation theology, just as the suffering became the concrete material of which the redemption was made. Without misery, TDL was doomed to disappear. The organic intellectuals fell in love with poverty, but they could leave it whenever they wanted.

The issue here is not whether the liberation theologians would have picked or not poverty, but that the presence of misery in the theological work ended up being vital for its own development and “success.” Against the glamorization of the poor, Johnny Thirty, a leading Brazilian carnival, once said: “People want luxury. Only intellectuals like misery. ” [17]Along the way, especially through the process of internationalization, liberation theology has become an elitist movement with penetration in seminars and institutions around the world. This elitism can be seen in an important theological document later elaborated whose title is in Latin: Mysterium Liberation. [18]

The liberation theology has distanced itself from the poor, creating a detached subjectivity of the poor with whom he worked. With that, she did not need to relate more closely to the aspects “non-theological” the core of the mess of daily life of the poor. The notion of “poor” as a homogeneous structure, unable to capture differences within itself was based on a structured theologies metaphysical essentialism.

Thus, the framework of the subjectivity of the poor met the specific requirements of liberation theology: a subjectivity that was captured by the strategies and the socioeconomic structures theological engagements and homogeneous. Within this discourse of subjectivity of the poor, was clear throughout the literature of liberation theology the existence of the blind spot of the absence of the discourses of the body and sexuality. In the next section of this essay, I examine the work of three theologians who tried to deal with these issues absent.

The discourses of body and gender in liberation theology in Latin America

My intention now is to use the thought of three authors – Rubem Alves, Jaci Maraschin and Marcella Althaus-Reid – who dare not let questions about the body, desire and sexuality to escape religious discourses. [19]They created chances for others to think about these issues, offering innovative ways to more advanced studies. To squeeze out the thinking of these authors propose an analysis including both expansions that the thought of these theologians designed in relation to what was normative discourses of liberation theology, but also what I believe are their limitations with regard to new understandings of the body and sexuality. I am fully aware of the risks they run of being unfair, but the intention is to maintain the unimpeded flow of dialogue.

1. Rubem Alves: the unusual relationship between theology and desire

Rubem Alves was a leading Protestant theologians of liberation theology in Latin America. He graduated in theology at the Presbyterian Seminary in Campinas, São Paulo, and later study at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he became a close friend of James H. Cone and Walter Wink. Soon after a year of studies at Union, Ahmed returned to Brazil, where he was persecuted by the military dictatorship through his then beloved Presbiterina Church of Brazil, which handed him over to authorities for being a “Dangerous Mind”. For this reason, he returned to America to get his doctorate at Princeton Theological Seminary under the guidance of Richard Shall. His book From Hope [20]contains his doctoral dissertation and is one of the first seeds of the thought of liberation theology. Back in Brazil, Alves wrote a seminal book of Brazilian Protestantism, still considered one of the most important on the subject [21]. He also wrote on social philosophy, education and religion.

Rubem Alves helped to “unlock the language” [22]at least three generations of theologians Brazilians. One of the first theologians to diversify forms of writing theology when no one knew or dared to do so. Alves allowed to talk theology not only Marx, but with Freud and psychoanalysis, as well as other dialogues introduced strangers to theology, like poetry and literature. The theology of Alves has the body in the center of his thought, since for him the body is that everything begins. Theology is just a way of talking about the body. So he defines theology

Theology is a way of talking about the body, the body of the sacrificed. Bodies that are pronounced the sacred name: God … Theology is a poem of the body, body prayer, body, saying their hopes, talking about her fear of dying, his longing for immortality, pointing to Utopia, swords turned into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks fused … Through this speech the bodies join hands, come together in a hug of love and support to resist and walk.[23]

Using Marxist-psychoanalytic lens, Alves says the body does not float without references in reality, but is always related to a larger world, a sort of continuation of the limited nature of the society and its economy. His thinking is that of Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School. Alvez says: “And I dare to ask: what would a free and just society if it was not the space for the expansion of the body in pleasure, happiness and toy?” [24]He is in tune with the trend of the glamorization TdL poor. Criticizing the bourgeois point of view of the poor, considering that the body is not among the concerns of the deprived, he says the concreteness of the body when he says:

And I do not go with the cliche that a preoccupation with the body is a disease of the petty bourgeoisie. As if the workers do not have bodies, and felt sore teeth with the teeth of social class, and make love with the genitals of their social class, and to commit suicide with the decision of his class. The body, indeed, is the only thing they have – and have to rent … Poor people smell bad, do not treat teeth, hungry more often and can not refine their sensibilities of luck to like classical music, besides picking up more often and die sooner … every body is the center of the world … The limits of my body denote the limits of my world … the suspicion that the powerful are doomed, destined to sing the love of power, while the weak there is only the power of love …[25]

For Alves, the body makes us wish and dream dreams of transformation. When denial is necessary in life constantly in the daily close to the point where the possibilities of the body to live a larger life, the body becomes a site of resistance. In this process, the body thinks and creates new worlds, worlds that may contain the dreams and make possible the realization of desires. “Imagination is the wings of the body, the body the power of imagination. The desire and power interpenetrate to give birth to hope … It thus constitutes the religion of those who love without power. “[26]

Ahmed’s critique has to do with the oppressors / settlers, who tried to steal the perception of our bodies to enforce the body’s relationship with the realm of abstract ideas:

And now, as theologians, we can succeed. Because we were humiliated when our scam was discovered: we pretend that we were flying, when in reality were just jumping. But now we find that our accusers, stuck in a set of beads called science, were also cheating. Because they tried to deceive us by presenting themselves as knowledgeable pure, without beliefs or superstitions, mirrors a hundred eyes, reflections of my faithful objects without desire, without passion (Nietzsche) – and now we find that these heavenly beings and hellish Naoe here are in this world men … No. There is a neutral world. The world is an extension of the body.[27]

Introducing a new way of thinking about the poor and theology, Alvez says ancruzilhada where theologians and poor meet is the place of desire:

The position of the theologian? Can only be the place of desire. That is where the hopes are born … It happens, however, that we are unable to recognize our desire. Our desires are lost in oblivion imposed by the ruling order. Banned say what we love for the simple reason that they love what gives us the dominant order. Tell our desires is to acknowledge our being exiled out of place, u / topics, imprisoned in a present that suppresses the body beings who carry a project erotic / heretical liberation of life.[28]

Ahmed expands the notion of the individual when he says that the project of liberation can not be reduced to economic systems. We must understand that the body acts and reacts not only by lack of bread, but is engendered by a larger process of desire, even the desire to nameless things. In The Sigh of the Oppressed , Alves expands and economistic Marxist reduction of the body and evokes the body’s need for pleasure and play:

The body does not just want to live, he wants to live in pleasure. For that human activity can not be understood only from an economic standpoint, ie the production of objects, but we acknowledge that its size toy … Life does not simply want to preserve themselves. His intention is to express itself. Want pleasure. Not limited to eating, but includes the acts of laughing, dancing, singing, playing …[29]

Furthermore, using poetry and prose as features of their theology, Ahmed has worked with other possibilities for the language, turning the narrow focus of a socially structured theological language, as seen in liberation theology, a language can open up possibilities for issues such as the body and the desire arise. The body, for it has a less linear way to get things than the rigid cast of categories and methods used by rational theology allows. He says: “My body does not understand the language of the method. Methods are rational procedures. But the body is a musical, which only understands the language of aesthetics. “[30]

As a result, the theoretical-logos, which works within strict limits of the use of reason is replaced by the theo-poet, who works with undefined boundaries of the body through freedom of speech. For him, only poets have the key to the human body and desire.

Expansions and limitations

Expansions : Alves has expanded the notion of the individual to extend the grid of theological language. Theological discourses have been relaxed, thus becoming tools for dialogue with other fields, topics and issues. Against Freud and Marx, he sees religion as an area where the body finds hope, strength and desire that can turn into revolutionary instruments for the poor. His theological language has helped the Christian faith to be almost as suddenly beautiful and more tolerable for many believers, especially Protestants, among whom I count myself, in Alves, faith was more poetic than analytic, more mythic than literal, closer to reality day-to-day that the hierarchy of any church. Ahmed expanded partnership theological sources, and finally brought the body back to the center of discourse, something difficult to find before him in any Latin American theological discourse. In Ahmed, through sociological approaches, psychoanalytical, theological and poetic body of the poor, we learn the potential of resistance, the charming sources of the human spirit and the power of language to create worlds.

Limitations : the beginning of the theological work of Alvez was severe and fundamental criticism of Latin American theologydisembodied . However, it seems that over time, the works of Ahmed eventually intensify certain key reading Plato that divided the body into the interior and exterior, between desire and the concrete body. Stuck in this binary conception, he sees more often inside the body, as the desire to somehow replace the materiality of the body emptied. For example, truth dwells in the interior of someone instead of providing real mark in the concrete body. The body of Ahmed remains sign of what the soul yearns and never will or the place of pleasure material , but only occasionally expressed the concrete results of dreams, beauty, diseases and hopes. Psychoanalytically established, desires that the body produces are related to homesickness, absence and lack. The body and its desires are tied to your idea of religion, namely, prisoners of nostalgic feelings from the past and future. Religion is this feeling of loss, and this is the time to feel this nostalgia. The body is able to dream about the future and fix the past, but their connection is made by the body’s senses through metaphors of food and children, gardens and trees, but does not seem to pay much attention to the materiality of sexualities and even sexual orgasms the body. On its website [31], Alves uses the metaphor of the house to explain human life. The privileged places in your home are the kitchen, garden room and the mystery. The kitchen brings fun experiences the taste of food that arrives on the palate. Soups seem to be their favorite food. The garden produces nostalgia for ancient times and hope to plant trees for future generations, and the mysteries of the room is a place where the body keeps its secrets and deepest desires. The house of Ahmad, however, has no rooms, sofa in the living room or bathroom where the body can live their physical needs or their sexuality. In the house of Ahmed, the desire is not linked to sex, or your house is bright and wonderfully described, but no open spaces for sexual experiences. The body is suitably sensual language of demarcation, but is not experienced in a sexualized manner. Difficult to see notes of sexual experiences. Thus, the body of Ahmed threatens to become a body that eats, smells, drink, look, dream, wish, cry, it moves and feels, but you just disembodied their sexual possibilities. His theology of the body and sexuality helps build a sense of individuality in which race, gender, body and sexual practices continue to be denied the use of neutral terms as “the body”. If these desires exist, they are always abscond . Despite the immense amplification of theological language, the sexual fluidity of the concrete body continued inward, trapped in locked rooms and duly forgotten, remaining almost untouched.

2. Jaci Marschin: the Liturgy of the body

Jaci Maraschin as Rubem Alves, also inspired more than three generations of religious scholars, including the author of this article. He began his studies in theology in Porto Alegre, moving then to the General Theological Seminary in New York to do their masters and, later, to Strasbourg, France, where he received his doctorate. Has a lot of publications on theology, liturgy, philosophy, music, poetry and art. Maraschin caused a huge impact on Protestant theological education in Brazil, where he was General Secretary of ASTE, the Association of Evangelical Theological Seminaries. He also worked with the World Council of Churches at various levels and composed songs that were published around the world. Having been a theologian, Maraschin now acts as a poet, musician and religious thinker. It was important voice in the movement of liberation theology, especially on the issue of body and sexuality through her work as an artist, poet, composer and liturgist. Influenced by liberation theology, Maraschin published perhaps the most important theological hymnal today with over 600 pages of folk songs that unite theology, liturgical celebrations and Brazilian culture in a way never seen in any Protestant or ecumenical hymnal.[32]

Unlike Ahmed, the theology of the body Maraschin is much more concrete and takes seriously the contours of the body materials, including the body of the poor. Amid the many theologies discarnate Maraschin tried to recover a notion of the body more positive, emphasizing the body’s need to live the Christian faith and vigorously rejecting the tendency towards denial of the body in Christian theology that used to regard the body as an impediment to Christian faith. Here he defines his attempt to create a theology of the body:

My experience in church and society has always been threatened by censorship and authoritarianism. The traditional Protestantism, from which much of Anglicanism is a part, never felt good with the body and was always afraid of sexuality and eroticism. The church always spoke of love but your love has always seemed more like altruism and resignation than with the enjoyment of good and beautiful things of life. Often felt that just as Jesus was crucified left, we, his followers, also we should crucify them bleed our desires on the cross false morality that we all know. The church chose Apollo when our bodies chose to Dionysius, asking when we were flying angels were people of flesh and bone. I tried to develop what might be called the “theology of the body” to protest against this deserotização of life.[33]

After several articles, his theology was systematized in his analysis of the Nicene Creed. In this book, Maraschin tried to interpret one of the most important documents of the Christian church through the concrete bodies of the poor in Latin America using the lenses of philosophy, politics, ideology, hierarchical power, everyday life and theological moorings that prevent full acceptance of Christian faith by life and body of the poor. There, he asks: “Which could mean the baptism for those who do not usually take a shower? That could mean the Eucharist to those who have no table, no dish, no cup or cutlery? ” [34].In the culture in which disembodied Protestant theology was deeply influenced by Pietism and the conservative theological views, Maraschin follows inviting people to convert to body . This conversion to the body would certainly theology in different directions, thus helping to “build a fraternal society.” [35]Moreover, capitalism and globalization were to interpret the developments that he spiritualized bodies of the poor, or ideologically de-referenced, Non-coded. The conversion to the concrete body would require a radically Christian faith united to the body, its bones, blood and all weaving and sexuality, thus causing political awareness, social and economic. He challenged the Christian thought through the new paradigmatic notion of the body:

When we realize that Christianity is the religion of the body par excellence, perhaps we should review some of our liturgy, our disembodied chants, our idealism situated in heaven, and our religiosity of disembodiment. It is with the body that we praise God. With that body? How we understand our body? Individualistically? Is our body separated from the bodies of others? … A “theology of the body” also relates to sexuality by placing it in the perspective of the symbolic because it is one of the fundamental forms of manifestation of the human in us … Not intended to establish the rules of sexual play. The intention, rather, to alert the contemporary society to the dangers of repression and isolation of the fallacy of sexuality of the broader context of society and history.[36]

Along with the notion of body, he tries to portray sexuality as God’s gift enjoyed by people in everyday life. Going against the tide Protestant theology that denied the body, he says that sexuality is a gift of life given by God. Maraschin deconstructs the relationship between the dominant Christian theology and the body, based in Platonic understandings of flesh, soul, spirit and spirituality. In the article entitled “Who controls my body,” he says he is not God who controls the body, but life itself in its random movements. For him, the churches have become mediators of life and body, and so the Christian should ask themselves “how religion relates to the body?” [37]

It is through the liturgy especially that he understands the theology and the place the body in its relationship with faith. In a more recent article, Maraschin talk about this connection:

The Christian church liturgy centered on the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. But then forgot it. Or at least, was not consistent with what he taught. Once he realized that meant the body and blood, tried to spiritualize them. Body and blood are things of the earth. The church wanted to deal with the vision of heaven. I wanted to rise above the clouds. So also suspected of sexuality … Nothing is more tangible and physical than the art. Is directly related to human sensitivity: sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing. The liturgy is moving in that space. And in that space, too, who moved the originator of Christianity. Jesus begins ministry dedicated to the body … The word made flesh does not seem to fit, while the flesh, within the limits of dogma. Jesus is spiritual. … When relating liturgy with the body, from the central celebration of the body and blood of Christ, is because the body is actually what we are. And that body is as if the liturgy does body art. That’s why we invented the church processions, gestures, kneeling, holy kisses, hugs, bows physical and, finally, dancing.[38]

He continues his critique by stating that “The litanies of the Church do not mention the problems of sexuality in their prayers and songs of praise human do not express the gratitude to God for the gift of orgasm.. [39]Destructuring image asexual maria, try Maraschin find a way to understand the sexualdiade of Mary in a concrete way and thus relate it to the people of Latin America:

Maria would be androgynous? There are those who think that God has female sexuality more or less abstract. But that would make the femininity of God irrelevant to women. The femininity of women is concrete. It must be stressed Mary as the existence of the same sex organs of the other women believed so by God and therefore to the experience of pleasure. We are accustomed to imagine Mary conceived only by inhaling the smell of fatherly divine seed. His conception seems to ignore the happiness of all human conceptions and divine. But if she was truly human, should have designed with the same pleasure of the bodies of other women. Thus, love and desire are linked in the same way as in liberation theology love and united in solidarity for social justice. However, solidarity in favor of justice never developed in the direction of the relationship between love and desire.[40]

He also believes that both the poor and the understanding of theological option for the poor must be expanded beyond the grid economically. Maraschin is one of the first to attest to the fact that the option for the poor also need to include those beyond (but not necessarily out) of limited economic grid definition poor, since for him the concept of the humble and humiliated necessarily include Blacks, women, homosexuals, among others.

Finally, Maraschin also expands on human sexuality to try to expand the understanding of the body. In an attempt to define his notion of sexuality, he writes:

The boundaries of sexuality are the limits of the body. It starts anywhere in the body and not ends. Goes from one side to another. Enter into delirium in the head. Shivers up the spine. It focuses, sometimes in the genital tract. Clashes with the sexuality of other bodies. Tangled up and confused. But it expands. Makes each of us what we are. Fill the world of lyricism and charm. Enter through the labyrinths of desire. Explode the antics of libido. It is held in pleasure.[41]

Expansions and limitations

Expansion: in its attempt to combat the use of abstract theology, Maraschin helped many students of theology to include the body in its theological discourse, and especially in their liturgies. The practical result of this theology has been to free association between theology, body and Brazilian culture, its music, dance and festivities. When sexuality was taboo subject, especially in Protestant theology, he has structured the production without theological denial of the materiality of bodies and pleasures, linking sexuality to the contours of Brazilian culture and rescuing it from the dominant theological discourses, in which she was used along with the notion of sin. Maraschin rejects today the title of theologian, preferring the term religious thinker, as it sees theology as something that has come to an end. Still, he gives us several clues of new possibilities for thought and theological and religious discourses.

Limitations: the notion of individual Maraschin still, although much less than Alves, desreferencializada political contours more defined. His work seems due to more consistent analysis of some political body to expand and offer more theoretically grounded and developments that touch on ways to deconstruct the structures of domination and denial of the body. His work raises serious questions that deserve to be widely discussed. So we continue to ask ourselves what these possibilities can not developed by the theological discourse that alliances do, what criteria make reference, which they can open or close, what grounds they dismantle that structure they replace, which rules most imbedded in Brazilian society they announce.

3. Marcella Althaus-Reid

Althaus-Reid is created in the Argentine theologian Quaker tradition but in Roman Catholic environment. He studied theology in Buenos Aires, in an important school of theology in Latin America, the ISEDET. He is currently professor at the University of Edinburgh. The theological thinking of Althaus-Reid, as outlined in his groundbreaking work, was the first concrete attempt to undo and redo the same time TdL obtained using tools of post-colonialism, post-Marxism and especially of theology queer . [42]His clarity and its critical to the powerful “Western subject unquestionable” [43]and even the way in which liberation theology was built, gave him a comprehensive notion of the individual mediated she tries to relate to liberation theology, the body and sexuality:

The concept of poor was superficial. Refers primarily to a male vision of the world’s poor peasant, urban poor and ignoring the poor Roman Catholic. Reflected the homogenizing tendencies inherited from the structure of Western theological thought … Sex was out of question, although a sexual shadow looms large over many writings exulting in the form of doubts and ambivalences. Not only “poor” included women, but also lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender … The poor, like a character out of an old-fashioned and moralistic Victorian tale, was portrayed as someone honorable and sexless. [44]

Inhabiting the same methodological approach of liberation theology (practice on doxa), she deconstructs this theology to find thefirst step or first act of theology not only the sociological aspects, economic or political reality, but also and mainly the body and sexual tendencies which she discusses with disordered sexual identities that make and break the reality of the poor in Latin America. Moreover, in his theological process she asserts that the economic theories, policies and social and sexual identities are all intertwined and interconnected with “theological support structures.” [45]Althaus-Reid calls the attention of liberation theologians to the notion that theological definitions of the body and sexual practices, explicit or otherwise, including its possibilities and limitations, are the constituent materials and defining the reality and its connection with life in general. Althaus-Reid notes that the interpretation of the individual, including physical and sexual aspects are always related to super-structures, ie the social settings, economic and policy that provides the basis of its formation and determination. Its primary purpose is to undo the structures of thought through “widespread resistance” [46]borrowed from materialistic approaches to the subject of sexuality.

The emphasis of moving sexual identities in the manufacture of structures theological theology becomes a sexual act in a way to dismantle not only the Christian systematic or dogmatic theology but also to break and, to quote a word used for it, per-leakagestandards set of behaviors, thoughts, rituals and life in their particulars. The theological framework from sex is only able to transform mere theological assumptions, but can also change social realities.

Althaus-Reid began the liberation theology rightly accused of being heterosexist and patriarchal. The liberation theology shares the same basic patterns of European theology, which helps keep the body and sexuality of the poor off the grid theological, cultural, racial, gender, economic and social development. The body and sexuality can not be thought together with the structures that exclude theological grid allowed, creating blind spots in thinking and practical theology.

Althaus-Reid recovers some sexual body language that was rejected by liberation theology, which includes not only desires but the desires of a sexual nature, the desires of the flesh, lust, secretions, kisses, smells and obscenity, perversion sex, body fluids, gays, lesbians, transvestites and transsexuals, fetishism, sadomasochism and sensuality, etc.. With this language, it expands the scope and culturally contradictory criticism of the human body, emphasizing the different ways in which bodies and sexuality of women, for example, were controlled and repressed. His intention is to break the binary systems that structure the thinking and, consequently, the Western theological systems that make the woman, their bodies and their sexuality under the term hierarchical dualisms of male / female and mind / body.

One way to break down this binary structure is, according to Althaus-Reid, establish the body as the paradigm that relates to sexuality and becomes cloudy and the economy. She says that a paradigm of the body,

is therefore pertinent to theological analysis, and need not come from another European, but the sellers of lemons, that take their lives in the economy and the sexual connotations of the survivors of the destruction of the Great Narratives in Latin America. The paradigm is a paradigm indecent because undresses and reveals both sexuality and economy.[47]

Regarding sexuality, she says it is “a place of bodily and emotional preferences that define a sexual identity and / or gender.”[48]The notion of the individual, it refers to Rosi Braidotti:

Rosi Braidotti considered as the subject is set at the crossroads of multiple variables (sex, gender, race, class, etc.). And the interaction between the material and discursive practices. In theology, this interaction is an intertextuality and intersexuality.[49]

Althaus-Reid spreads resistance and indecency against ongoing colonization and irrational as the subject invites theology to risk movements around the notions defined in-and perverted sexual identities and performances, and bodily and sexual practices in general.

In his recent book The Queer God , continues to deconstruct theological terms and to restructure the theological thought, dispelling popular assumptions and theological understandings of Christian beliefs and dogmas. In this book, she conceives theology as their heterosexual enemy explicit as in Indecent Theology (Theology Naughty), but committed his theological hermeneutics to ” queer theory, not heterosexual and heterosexual criticism of theology. “[50]

In the first book mentioned, it continues its project to spread other ways of conceiving God and sexualities, identities, relationships and human practices. This time, however, Althaus-Reid brings more stories of Latin American peoples, especially indigenous peoples, in order to challenge the “colonial assumptions” diffuse. She tries to use new understandings of sexuality as a way of destroying solid systems of thought and create new ones and expand the definitions of religion, economics, social and sexual constructions. She says: “The issue though is that religions are made to, or around, the classification standards clear sexual, sexuality, restricts or opens the horizons of the religious systems.” [51]

His theology assumes notions of ambiguity, untranslatability and non-representation. This non-place creates a kind of theology of God a bit odd for well-known structures of love and knowledge of traditional theology. That God Strange , Stranger and stranger in principle, can be recognized among the poor and people who are inherently indecent, a God radically Community and whose hospitality without borders is compelling.

Expansions and limitations

Expansions: in Althaus-Reid, liberation theology is a dangerous and seductive at the same time the company: dangerous because it dismantles the core of the thought of liberation theology and liberation theology has the seductive because the endless folds of theological thought and possibilities. His interdisciplinary work also carries multiple possibilities from which liberation theology can recreate. Althaus-Reid, with his expanded notion of individual responsibility, not only the methodology of liberation theology for its blind spots, but also a weapon it uses to trap perverts, sharp movements and destruction of their base system. There is much more to think about and your work, and even more so that it becomes something pulsing in thought and practice of Latin America.

Limitations: the recent, innovative and fascinating work Althaus-Reid gives us a format to think of radical liberation theology, and here punctuate critical for us to continue this dialogue: 1) Your work Indecent Theology (Indecent Theology) risks reduce the boundaries of the kingdom subject to limited instances of non-heterosexuals. For her, an indecent theology is possible only through exposure to non-heterosexual obscenity: sadomasochism, exhibitionism and explicit sexual acts. Any theology afraid to run away this grid of exotic experiences remains systematic theology, and therefore harmful. 2) The “new poor” in his theological system consists only of gays, lesbians, transvestites and transsexuals. Only these is that they are marginal and therefore are likely to be appropriately indecent, obscene, diverted and perverted, non-negotiable requirement and central to a theology indecent. 3) The glorification of poverty by liberation theologians find reflection in the same glorification of sexually perverted stories of the poor in the examples given by Althaus-Reid. By emphasizing and concentrating the sexually perverted habits of the poor above and against gender norms, it runs the risk of inverting the binomial normative sexualities / perverted. It seems that the binary structure is not broken, just reversed. 4) Perhaps because this is Argentina, a country with relatively small population of blacks, it lacks a deeper analysis of the racial issue in their work. As a Brazilian, I must say that the racial analysis should be at the heart of any indecent theology.

A question was ignored: the poor can talk?

The liberation theology was a product of modernity, seated in the grand scheme of majestic narratives. Despite having developed their own voice and have made the lives of poor Latin Americans their dominant axis, its larger structure echoed the same limits, boundaries and restraints imposed by the Western European colonial thinking. So much so that a proposal had TdL re-contar/re-escrever entire theological framework from the same fundamental doctrines of Christianity domatia. [52]

However, due to the increasing globalization process of exclusion around the world, the question of the poor still burning and more emerging in the economic system, political and social structure oss sitemas world. Thus, one can not simply abandon the liberation theology as something outdated. Rather, it is increasingly urgent and necessary to think about different ways to talk to this theology, and find new trails and other partners to devote themselves entirely to poor theology. As a starting point for further dialogue, the vital question here is: what TdLAL despised in his various speeches? At the same time the TdLAL was, on one hand, deeply concerned about the oppression and the concrete needs of the poor in Latin America, it also reproduced in many ways the same component of power / knowledge of the thinking of the colonizer, or forgetting, ignoring, hiding, concealing or leaving out some vital aspects of a possible subjectivity of the poor.

Rummaging through some of these omissions, it is possible to relate the assumptions of liberation theology about the body and sexuality to comment on Foucault’s modern prudery: “… modern Puritanism imposed its triple edict of taboo, nonexistence, and silence ” [53]. It is not difficult to see how the use of reason as instrumental TdL foisted by this triple edict throughout his speech and praxis: she never described the sexual histories of the poor in their theological task of hearing them. Thus, it was as if their bodies do not oppressed sex, or did not need sex, as not having orgasms or not they had complications and fascination with the body and sexuality. For liberation theologians, the poor generally were, and perhaps still are, too busy working or looking for jobs, screaming, resisting, suffering all kinds of oppression and being faithful to Christ and the church to have sex or wasting your time with any kind of bodily pleasure and / or sexual imagination.

The silence of theology reinforced the idea of non-existence of sexual practices among the poor, and ignore the notion that sex is an important aspect of human existence, re-editing the taboo of sexuality and its relationship with sinful pleasure as well as restricting the understanding of sex to their role merely reproductive. Through this painstaking theological silence, regulates the liberation theology that was the theological discourse about the body and sex. Again, the history of sexuality in liberation theology can be seen as analogous to what Foucault said in his history of sexuality: “What is under discussion, in a nutshell, is the ‘discursive fact’ global, the way in which sex is inserted in the speech. ” [54]

Along with the necessary movement between criticism, expansions, limitations, etc.., Made in this paper and the important contributions that these three thinkers have presented here for theological thinking in Latin America, would draw attention, briefly, to the ‘discursive fact’ that underpins the work of liberation theology in general: the poor as subjects of history and construction of their subjectivity.

The works of liberation theology was to rebuild the world from the perspective of the poor, the new subject of history. Under the terms of the subjectivity of the poor, the non-material components and materials of what belongs to the life of the poor in general and specifically raised and set firmly in history. This effort was done without questioning whether the project definition and description of the poor could embed a dose of about failure at its core. As it was necessary for this theology in its infancy, there was a lot of confidence and belief that the poor could be seen, understood and explained.

In all its processes, and because the poor was the subject and the essence of theology, who remained hovering certain issue without being asked by the theologians of liberation: it is even possible to talk about the poor? Liberation theologians are generally not asked to own concept / definition of poor was possible, never considered his speeches about the poor as hopeless, constrained by a limited reason, committed by fallacious assumptions as all thought, mortally wounded, unable to develop properly and Walker wandering paths inescapable. Rather, the very notion of the poor remained unquestioned in most of the time. At one point, became notion given, neutral , rigid, a priori, unquestionable. The social tragedy was such that the mere mention of the poor was sufficient to sustain any theological construct “honest” (read “non-verified”). The liberation theology never looked at the fact that in defining the poor, and consequently its subjectivity, eliminated other variables of gender, race, class, gender and other perspectives not mentioned, items forgotten and silenced desires attendance thoughtless. At the same time that defined the poor in their own assumptions, it also decided that it was not important, like sex and bodily pleasures, which ended up as discourses and practices so lacking in the literature of liberation theology. So, just to reify taboos erected by the church in Brazil since the conquest by the same mechanisms, forgetfulness, denial and silence.

So this question needs to be constantly raised: Can talk about the poor? this point it is necessary to meditate on the familiar words of South Asian thinker, Gayatri Spivak, “Can the subaltern speak?” [55], and ask about the poor “may the poor to speak? “.

The process of colonization along the new “globolatinização” [56]imperial world did the poor understanding of poverty and more scattered and elusive than ever. The definition of spiritual poverty and material poverty provided by Gustavo Gutiérrez in 1969 became overly simplistic and needs to be reviewed. Who are the poor today? Those who live in abject social conditions? The landless? Those who live under the stress of war? Women? Afro-Brazilians or black women in the U.S.? Gays, lesbians, transsexuals and transvestites? The disabled? Illegal immigrants in any country? Those who suffer in hospitals? The masses of migrants around the world? Those whose identities have been silenced? Prostitutes from Amsterdam and Recife? Drug addicts in Switzerland or Colombia? The inhabitants of the hills of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo slums? People with AIDS? Those who suffer from hunger in Africa or Asia? Those who lost loved ones in the tragedy of September 11th or the countless families who lost someone in the heavy attacks from the U.S. in Iraq? The victims of the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina or winter in Russia? Maybe they are the ones who lost their jobs in Singapore, or the unemployed immigrants in France? The employees of Dunkin ‘Donuts in Massachusetts in the U.S., factories enslaving of Papua New Guinea or trablho slaves in Brazil? The boy born in a hovel of cob wall in the Northeast and will never have the opportunity to get to college or the boy who graduated from Harvard but discovers she has cancer? The girl who sells her body on the streets of Peru or the woman who is beaten by marino in Africa? Who are the poor today?

The recent explosion of identities and the excessive reliance on the notion of “experience” as the heart and sole criterion for theological constructs transformed the field of liberation theologians in deadlock, ie, breaking into small groups with other small groups, each creating communities smaller and smaller trying to preserve their identity at the expense of its own isolationism followed by growth of exclusion. The search for a place in the sun ended up doing minority groups struggling for a few drops of ink to publish their own versions of themselves, only voices capable of connecting with other groups that do not venture in any way the conflict / challenge their fragile identity. How to understand these discourses dispersed? How to avoid the silence? How to be honestwith minorities? How to engage with their subjectivities categories without imposing them strange? How to include them in educational plans or theological agenda?

Modifying the previous question, how to take the poor as the subject of any theological discourse? That idea of the subject? You can “meet you”? Is this necessary knowledge or mandatory? The process of understanding is also a movement of power and control? How to describe adequately the lives of the poor? What are your experiences? A theologian would be able to write about the experience of the poor and validate it for most of its people? What to do or how to speak from experience and unspeakable claimed non-dormant in the heart of the communities of the poor? And if the array is the founding experience of the poor, how to understand the experiencesinhuman in all of human experience? As a re-count them? How can we take into account the subjectivity when experiences are ambiguous, inenerráveis, partially or totally forgotten, forbidden, frightening, traumatic and impossible to be understood? Are these stories untold part of the subjectivity of the poor? Possible within the broad spectrum of different possible experiences, which are to be preserved? How can we be fair? How to know which are the crucial aspects of the lives of poor people without resorting to a selection and personal choice? Is it sufficient to just tell the stories of the poor? Is it possible to translate them faithfully ? What tools are needed to tell their stories / stories? Moreover, how to deal with “them (as)” in relation to “us”? What is “us” and what “they (the)”? What to do with the voice of the poor? We can hear it properly? They speak? They can talk? Who speaks for them? The extent to which their voices are my voice, or to what extent my voice trying to speak for them? Placing these issues within the same package elicits the issue of representation: it is possible to re-present the poor? Lyotard says:

The unrepresentable is what is the object of an idea, and for which no one can show (show) an example a case, not even a symbol. The universe is unrepresentable, like mankind, the end of history, time, space, good, etc.. The absolute in general, Kant would say. Because present is relative, place within contexts and conditions of presentation contexts and conditions in this case plastics.[57]

Infinite understandings of the individual, conflicting political representation, explosions identities, sexual performances indefinable, cultures untranslatable, reverse anthropology, colonial laws internalized / obscured, memories colonized, a market economy increasingly exclusivist, shrinkage of space for differences, growth conservatism and fundamentalism, irrational theological positions – all these things influence great and inescapably the work of the theologian organic.

In view of this, issues relating to the body, sexuality and theology arise before us as fragmented pathways to knowledge construction, ie work in the ruins of ourselves and our myopic view of reality. The question then becomes: is it possible that the body is understood and described theologically? As the sexual experiences can be collected and re-told? What aspect of human experience is telling, and which hides the revelation? How to create ethical discourses without reinventing the metaphysical approach, stuffed and definitely the poor? How do the theological consideration of concreteness, in this concrete life too poor when you can not escape the solipsism of metarregulações language and what is not given to the control? How to create a software (language) appropriate to yourhardware (the body / sexuality)? From the feminist perspective, this difficulty with the body is sharp and devastating. Katie Conboy tells us:

The body has been, however, in the center of feminist theory precisely because it offers no foundation ‘natural’ for our pervasive cultural assumptions about femininity. In fact, there is a tension between the bodily experience lived by women and the cultural meanings inscribed on the female body, which always mediate those experiences … the female body (is) an area in dispute – a battleground for rival ideologies.[58]

Spivak also reminds us of the difficulty of representing the figure of the woman:

Among patricarcalismo and imperialism, subject-constitution and object formation. The figure of the woman disappears, not an absence immaculate, but a sudden jerk which is the displaced figuration of the ‘third world woman’ caught between tradition and modernization.[59]

In its analysis of the concept of inferiority in their post-colonial studies, Spivak says that the servant is unable to speak, especially women. The subaltern voice is entangled in such a way the voice of the colonizer that can only figure out which is the voice of the subaltern through deconstruction of the code and the voice of the colonizer present in the texts themselves of the colonizer. Spivak’s project is not giving up acting, but trying to find the voices of the subaltern through deconstruction of Western canonical philosophical texts.

The theologies of liberation have never been able to deal satisfactorily with such issues. They always assumed “reality” as such and overestimated their ability to re-present, translate or determine the wishes or desires, suffering and hopes of the poor. Thus, never suspecting their assumptions, discourses of liberation theology became theologies self-reflective and self-determining. After awhile, the liberation theology of the poor nor needed more to make it. The subject was fully described in the known categories. With the cast ready, the rest was easier to do.

Conclusion – Writing the individual and his (im) possibilities

The issue of representation is central to us, if there is a center in any theological works. How to re-present what may never have been made or that instead, has been made excessively? How to report the holdings of the body and gender in Latin America? How to relate these bodies and sexuality to the interaction between the notions of capitalism, race, culture, gender, identity, colonozação, globalization, homogenization, multiculturalism, democracy, fragmentation, theology, religion, etc..?

As discussed above, the discourses of the body and gender issues are not “immediate” the subjectivity of the poor. What could mediate this stalemate? How to cope with this impasse?

On the one hand, the notion of subject is never given, and its irreducible materiality prevent his apprehension and description due. In this space khoral [60], the individual is not there in the form of a presence that waits representing or fitting description for our theologies. Rather, the notion of an individual is born without original source or from multiple sources, and is irreducibly left open, since no speech is able to exhaust it completely, making the work of the theologian overwhelming task challenging because of different outcomes for different starting points. The individual, therefore, is similar to what our words but possible describe wounds and broken, made up of cracks inevitable emergencies and alternating the midst of all the complications of these possibilities. As stated by Jean-Luc Nancy, “the world as a possibility, or the world as a chance for life (opening / closing of possibility, Ability Unlimited / disastrous) ” [61]. These possibilities of the world, and the subjectivity of the individual must deal with its inconsistencies, ambiguities, paradoxes, impossibilities, limitations, mistakes and consequences that prevent the abundant description, interpretation, or representation in language repetition. Again Nancy:

there is nothing nihilistic in recognizing that the subject – the property of the individual – is the thought that resorb or exhausted all possibility of being-in-world (any chance of existence , all existence as being as far as possible) and the same thought, never simple, does not close itself without a trace, but it points to and releases a whole new thought: the single and some other of the natural existence to which the subject announced, promises while hidden .[62]

The recognition of the subject and all its possibilities in the world are attached to webs of promises and announcements which must necessarily be made in spite of all impossibility. And here we come to another point in our conclusion. Moreover, the infinite crossroads in which the individual is embodied can not simply be suspended in aporia in indeterminacies and impossibilities inextricable. Whatever we make of the individual, even if your cancellation, we will turn into self-defined structures that constitute both the limits to its description as well as the retrenchment of experiences known and yet to be discovered. The notion of individual, if that is possible, will always be fluid, open, and given the definitions unfinished and always moving. The attempt is to deconstruct the notion of “poor” by the imposition of provisional identities, unwrapping the colonized individual and a bit rusty, offering, perhaps, other possible configurations. In this sense, the theological task is necessarily a work of continuity and discontinuity, links and ruptures, cuts and folds.

The life of the poor in their subjectivity, inconsistency, addiction, interiority and exteriority mixed, hopes, passions, sexual adventures, trials and financial experience in general , occurs in unstable ground of materiality reckless mentioned previously in use by Althaus-Reid’s perspective Braidotti about the multiple variables of the individual and the interaction between the material and discursive practices.

In order to fight injustice, suffering and oppression in Latin America, new approaches to liberation theology have to be critically and endowed with creativity able to find the per-versions and disfigurement of life forms in the midst of life. The liberation theology has given us excellent clues. Now our job is to find these disfigurements and per-versions, theories and propositions that will necessarily subscribe “in the endless transformation of the” realities “.[63]

It is among the possibilities and impossibilities in the metonymic use of language, intertextuality, and interstitial intersexuality[64]that the work of the theologian, as it relates to the subjectivity of the poor, should be done. The individual non-represented not keep afloat the historically-or de-referenced. The individual was always building, represented and exploited since time immemorial in various shapes, values, norms and perspectives. These representations can not trace the original individual or adequate notion of subjectivity as it is very likely that it does not exist. The individual and God, democracy, good, etc.. Will always be a re-presentation of a presentation, thus making this impossible. However, the representation of individual, constructed and imposed by the conqueror over the bodies and minds of the colonized people of Latin America, have had devastating power and strength enough todes measure, des figure and des continue any fair definition of individual in Latin America. The idea of individual colonializadora was created in accordance with the image and self-understanding of the colonizer and established one another necessary to maintain uniformity of the protected individual who described the other. This understanding of each other, and always has to be done, though not as devastatingly explicit, shaped the reality, the economy, politics, health, sexuality, law, theology, money and insight that always carried with him, at the expense of death and silence, a world that never belonged / belongs to the colonized.

As the new theologies try to deconstruct these forms of creation of the subject, get confused / disconnected / loose / lost / stunned by the sound of one / many voices, sometimes criticizing, sometimes being appropriate and / or assimilated, or appropriating if the other without knowing, sometimes including themes, topics, meanings, understandings that had been left out, sometimes denying that there could be room for possibilities or forgetting to say and never being able to get rid of deformation internalized 500 years extensive destruction and creation. The deformation is part of our constant process of formation.

The world economic order puts the poor in the disorder, seeing it as the culprit and advised him to be eradicated as if we were going the wrong way. The representation of individual and imposed by the conqueror built on the bodies and minds of the colonized people of Latin America still affects the way we see ourselves. That / this violence was such that our discourse can not remember what we once were, what we were or SE is that one day we reach what rationality. We can not understand anything if not resorting to the speeches colonizers, who continue to transform us in an almost unknown. A strange feeling that we’ll never be, but we are always “already made” and we can only understand the title you give us on the label affixed to the side of our bodies, our cultures and our theologies. Our personalities are swallowed up by the sound of the voices of others, and every time we talk we seem to have to yell.

Despite all this, do not discard this structure is to let our personalities, there are what they are, are infinitely re-appropriated and re-presented by another , thus allowing other processes and endless destruction, devastation, exploitation and death. The same individual colonized learned and will always be ready to take advantage of another Other . This calls for new construction of liberation theology for it to continue doing their service because: nag, annoy, destroy and deconstruct the unshakable notion of individual colonized the limitless ways to create new opportunities for the poor to express, live and experience life in a way more comprehensive. Thus, this project is related to what Spivak on Derrida says:

Derrida points out the radical critique of the danger of appropriating the other by assimilation … He calls for a wholesale rewriting the structural utopian impulse to ‘do the delirious that interior voice is the voice of others in us. “[65]

However, this politicized approach of the individual, the de-appropriation of the other by assimilation, this attempt to re-present an individual Latin American (im) possible is always accompanied by a reminder: whatever the notion of subjectivity that can be built it needs to be done with / to the poor, with some awareness of blind spots that are frequently overlooked. Certainly, the poor will always be theologies of liberation and already partially represented, a poor choice from some of its peculiarities, a poor man who is always related to our own poor understanding, vision systems opaque and flawed. Rather than describe, you must do this delusional religious and theological voice that drives us to say what is poor or ceases to be. If this voice does not continue making us delirious deaf among the processes of (de) construction of the idea of the poor, fall into the trap of thinking that the voice sounded calm and benfaseja within us and writing in our theologies, is the voice of the poor . However, such a sweet voice and nurturing is nothing but putting our own voice in the seductive traps that our work is done in peace, even if a peace inappropriate, spurious and colonizing. Then again sin is unforgivable. Thus, all work philosophical, religious, theological work is delusional.

The “poor” will always be a trap in theological language tools. Ultimately, you can not even describe or represent the poor, we can not affirm it or deny it, accept it or reject it. The new theologies of liberation must be honest in his continuing, but fragile and abandon any effort to stop the self-righteous endorsement true representation of the poor. Talking about the poor is to work with a hermeneutic cloudy, lame. Rehearse any presentation is how we’re doing theologies unfair, even honest. But this should not prevent us from continuing the process theological / religious. Theology should be, then the activation of the differences, the continuing dialogues without merit and the constant cannibalization of our assumptions, the cosmopolitanization of their plots, dance theory from its ruins in constant construction and assume constant that any theology is a mistake, or perhaps better, a game, how he wanted Rubem Alves. A game of grievous, inexcusable consequences.

In the ways of Rosa by these search worlds of my God, these borders will never leave us powerless! Instead, the theologians will be clowns, artists of incomprehensibility that happens, occasionally, to our senses. I would say that the new liberation theologians should be as philosophers or artists Lyotard:

The text that he (sic) writes, the work he produces are not in principle governed by pre-established rules … (They) are working without rules to formulate the rules of what has been done . Soon, the work and the text has the characteristics of an event … we must make it clear that it is our responsibility not to supply reality but to reinvent the illusions that can not conceivably be made … Wage war against all; we are witnesses of unpresentable; activate the differences and save the honor of the name.[66]

Today, perhaps having learned from the situation of Leonardo Boff and without horizons as fixed categories of methodological liberation theology, the theologians may react differently to points Degos their own theologies. Perhaps now we can even begin naming the woman who was naked in that room with Boff, an unpronounceable name that evokes a million other anonymous women, despite all the complications of what is appropriate. Perhaps now, adding another dimension of perversion and desire to our tools Marxist materialists, we can dedicate ourselves not only to the periphery of poverty and social life of material deprivation but also to their wishes and repressions, and all the yearnings of his body descabíveis concrete.

Maybe now we will be able to learn to pray and ask Maraschin and thank God for our orgasms, so that our theologies include the pleasures before banned. Maybe we can make each experience with your vision, secrets and various possibilities of ending like a rapture, an unknown and uncontrolled movement completely and radically transforming our theologies and our ways of thinking and living body, without restrictions or consoles. Maybe we can start a new liturgical procession to the poor, carrying with us a cup overflowing with needs and desires, and potential misery, despair and contradictions, betrayals and small gestures of political redemption, death and unexpected epiphanies of our day to day, trying to forever give the outlines of a lost grace. And as we walk, we will try to look at what has always been denied, forgotten, forbidden and dangerous. Perhaps, through the theological and liquid excreta of the body, kissing and sexuality, we represent here on the subjectivity of our training.

It may be that we gain not only a way of seeing and hearing this anonymous woman differently, but also to see and hear the ways in which life comes and calls, and breaking and search and destroy affront, sometimes unusual, sometimes abundantly, sometimes hidden, others blatantly in and through our bodies, desires and sexualities. A pulsating blessed while anguished materiality.

My harsh criticism of the first generation of liberation theologians does not eliminate the obligation to always go back to them, since it was they who gave us the first tools to create liberation theology in Latin America. Therefore, always returning to Leonardo Boff, his features help us to move forward and back by road from the poor and their organic theology: first, we need to remember to keep a long silence, facing each other in amazement. So recognize that our theology will always be ill-prepared, provisional, misleading, needing to be redone all the time. Thus, every time we meet, we think, live, fight and forget the poor, you must resume our theology to re-write it in full again, and rectify everything before we thought we knew. Every time we run with all of the worlds poor, we need to ask your forgiveness, confessing our mistakes, failures, joys and horrors, the impossibilities of our understanding and how it would be different if only we knew where to find the Others , who do not is myself. Maybe then begin to be more reliable for our failures, and a little more consistent with our practices and philosophical thoughts through our understandings absurd and shameful.

[1]Claudio Carvalhaes is a doctoral candidate at Union Theological Seminary in New York .. Text originally written as part of doctoral studies at Union Theological Seminary, NYC. Translated by James Chiavegatto.

[2]Leonardo Boff, Embers From Ashes: Tales from the Anti-Everyday (São Paulo, Ed Records, 1996), 21-22.

[3]Enrique D. Dussel, “Hypothesis on a history of theology in Latin America”, in History of Theology in Latin America (Sao Paulo, Pauline, 1985), 188.

[4]Clodovis Boff. Theology and Practice. Political theology and its Mediations (Rio de Janeiro: Ed Vozes, 1978), III.

[5]Paulo Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Continuum: New York), 2000.

[6]Gustavo Gutiérrez. A Theology of Liberation. History, Politics and Salvation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988), 10.

[7]Leonardo Boff is who will develop a whole reinterpretation of ecclesiology in Latin America. His famous book Church: Charism and Power earned him an intense controversy with the Roman Curia and subsequent punishment.

[8]Joao Batista Libanio SJ and Alberto Antoniazzi. 20 Years of Theology in Latin America and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro: Ed Vozes, 1993), 24.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid, 22.

[11] Ibid., 71.

[12] Ibid., 132.

[13] Ibid., 67. (Italics are mine).

[14] Ibid., 142. (Italics are mine).

[15]Gustavo Gutiérrez, del Density Present (Lima, Peru: Instituto Bartolome de las Casas-Rimac and Centro de Estudios y Publicaciones-CEP, 1996), 39.

[16]JL Idígoras, theological vocabulary for Latin America (São Paulo: Ed Pauline, 1983), 373.

[17] Johnny Thirty. Source unknown.

[18]Sobrino, J. and Ellacuria, I, eds. Mysterium Liberation: Fundamental Concepts of Liberation Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993). See the criticism of Althaus-Reid in Indecent Theology, Theological Perversions in Fri, Gender and Politics (London and New York: RouTdLedge, 2000).

[19]Among the liberation theologians who dealt with the issue of sexuality could mention Enrique Dussel. Among other projects, he tried to develop what he called a Latin American Erotica . The result is an extremely limiting and conservative analysis of human sexuality. In their understanding of and ros , he defends the idea of the naturalness of heterosexual intercourse, said without much care that abortion is not natural and condemn homosexuality. Enrique D. Dussel, Paths of Latin American Liberation IV (New York: Editions Paulines, 1984), pp 211-213. Here’s a consistent criticism about the homophobia in the last chapter of Dussel’s book Althaus-Reid, Indecent Theology Op Cit. pp. 194-200.

[20]Reuben A. Alves, Of Hope (New York: Papirus, 1987).

[21]Reuben A. Alves, Protestantism and Repression . 55 Essays (New York: Attica, 1982).

[22]Term used by John Caputo to express the influence that the thought of Jacques Derrida has had on philosophy in general and in his particular case, to produce theological and religious. See John D. Caputo and Carl Raschke, loosening Philosophy’s Tongue: A Conversation with Jack Caputo. (Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, 2002).

[23]Rubem Alves, Variations on Life and Death, 9.

[24] Ibid., 34.

[25] Ibid., 33-35, 67.

[26] Ibid., 45-65.

[27] Ibid., 39.

[28] Ibid., 201.

[29]Rubem Alves, The Sigh of the Oppressed (London: Ed Pauline, 1984), 177.

[30]Reuben A. Alves. Des-Book. Against Method.


[32]Jaci C. Maraschin, ed., The New Song of the Earth (New York: IAET, 1987).

[33]Jaci C. Maraschin, Sic Transit … not yet published.

[34]Jaci Maraschin, The Mirror and Transparency. The Nicene Creed in Latin and theology amearicana (Rio de Janeiro: CEDI, 1989), 246.

[35]Jaci Maraschin. “Conversion and Body” in Spirituality and religion in Latin America, Religious Studies 4 (SBCampo: IEPG, 1986), 6-83.

[36]Jaci Maraschin, “Christian Faith & Body” in Christian Faith: release from captivity to hope (SBCampo: IEPG, 1986) 67-83.

[37]Jaci Maraschin, Who have in my body? (SBCampo: Journal of the Methodist, September 1992), 1 and 2.

[38]Jaci Maraschin, “Half Hour of Silence: Liturgy in the post-moderinidade” in Anglican Liturgy. Inclusivity: Journal of Theological Studies Anglicans in June (CEA: Porto Alegre, November 2003) from 0.135 to 136, 140.

[39]Jaci Maraschin, “Sexuality Is a Gift from God?” In BARBOSA, Jefferson et al (eds.). Sexuality. Uirá Journal (7). SP: UBRAJE, Winter 1988, 6.

[40]Jaci Maraschin, Half Hour of Silence: Liturgy in postmodernity.

[41]Jaci Maraschin, “The Limits of Sexuality”, in the popular movement. The Challenge of Communication. Time and Attendance 229. (Rio de Janeiro: CEDI, March 1988) 26 and 27.

[42]Althaus-Reid in Indecent Theology, Theological Perversions in Fri, Gender and Politics.

[43] Ibid., 16.

[44] Ibid., 30.

[45] Ibid., 176.

[46] Ibid., 20.

[47] Ibid, 19.

[48] Ibid., 109.

[49] Ibid., 82.

[50]Althaus-Reid, The Queer God (London & New York: RouTdLedge, 2003), 2. (Italics are mine).

[51] Ibid., 160.

[52]See Sobrino, J. and Ellacuria, I, eds., Mysterium Liberation: Fundamental Concepts of Liberation Theology (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1994).

[53]Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. Volume 1 (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), 5.

[54] Ibid., 11.

[55]Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. “Can the Subaltern Speak”, in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg. eds. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Illinois: Univ. Of Illinois Press, 1988), 271-316.

[56]Jacques Derrida. Acts of Religion . Ed Gil Anidjar (New York: Routdledge, 2002), 50.

[57]Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Inhuman (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press), 126.

[58]Katie Conboy, Nadia Medina and Sarah Stanbury, eds., Writing on the Body. Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory . (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1997), 1.7.

[59]Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak”, in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture 306.

[60] Chora is a term in the texts of Plato used by contemporary writers such as Jacques Derrida and Luce Irrigaray. Chora is a place unnamed, but always verifiable undefined.

[61]Jean-Luc Nancy, “Introduction” in Cadava Eduardo, Peter Connor, and Jean-Luc Nancy, eds., Who Comes After the Subject?(New York and London: Routledge, 1991), 2.

[62] Ibid., 4.

[63]Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Inhuman, 22.

[64]The understanding of Mark C. Taylor on the interstitial can help us here: “We must think in terms of interstitially rather than oppositional. The problem is that language, such as the structuralism taught us, is structured in terms of binary oppositions. Therefore, it is impossible to articulate directly what we are trying to think ABOUT. Our speech should be indirect, but the manner of Kierkegaard with a seasoned own …. the interstitial is the domain of alternation (one of the nuances of altare ), where the sacred oscillates between an approach that moves away and a clearance that is approached. The interstitium is neither here nor there, is not this but it’s not out … this is the implication of what religion is about – no more than implications because, of course, can never be specified, determined, articulated or fixed. “In Mark C. Taylor and Carl Raschke About About Religion: A Conversation with Mark C. Taylor . (Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, 04.16.2001).

[65]Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”, In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, Op Cit., 308.

[66]Lyotard, Jean-Francois, “Note on the Meaning of the Word ‘Post’ and Answering the Question ‘What is Postmodernism? ” , “InContinental Aesthetics. Romanticism to Postmodernism: An Anthology . ed. Richard Kearney and David Rasmussen (Oxford and Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), 370.

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