Ched Myers: What Prophetic Tradition Will You Apprentice To?

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“Wade in the Water.” Postcard of a river baptism in New Bern, N.C., around 1900.

“Mark’s prologue portrays the world of Roman-occupied Palestine in political, social, economic and religious crisis. Historically we know that in this context, tensions stemming from imperial forces of domination and “globalization” gave rise to prophets who called their people to radical change. John took his cue from the wilderness tradition, and Jesus from John. If we are to be followers of that Jesus, we must also make choices in the conflicted terrain of our world about what prophetic traditions we apprentice to and what social movements of liberation we help build as individuals and as church. However controversial or consequential such choices may be, such is what it means to be a disciple of the Great Disciple of God’s Kingdom.”–Ched Myers

Mother of Mujerista Theology Dies, Isasi-Diaz Was 69

Cuban-born mujerista theologian Dr. Ada-Maria Isasi-Diaz died Sunday, May 13, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima. She was diagnosed with cancer less than six weeks ago. She was 69.

The March 2012 issue of Sojourners magazine ran Associate editor Elizabeth Palmberg’s interview with Isasi-Diaz, Faith at the Tipping Point. The interview was conducted November 2011 at the Call to Action conference in Milwaukee.

“She leaves behind an amazing legacy. More than just a theologian, she was active in the struggle of others,” said Drew University colleague Dr. Laura Kearns, noting Isasi-Diaz’s 2009 leadership in protesting the closure of Our Lady Queen of Angels church in Harlem (see the NYT article).

Ada María Isasi-Díaz was a major force in Hispanic, mujerista, and feminist theology, liberation theologies rooted in the everyday experience of Latinas. As her foundational 1996 book Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century put it, her work aims at creating “a public voice for Latinas and capturing a political space for that voice,” including in academic theology. Isasi-Díaz was professor emerita of ethics and theology as well as founder and co-director of the Hispanic Institute of Theology at Drew University in Madison.

Watch an amazing video of Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz from Harvard’s Women’s Studies in Religion Conference.

Ada’s family has been blogging about her illness and last days at Ada’s Blog. Her sister Gloria writes:

There was no struggle, agony nor any signs of discomfort. She has now moved on to her eternal life, having left behind a remarkable legacy. The lives of all who knew her and loved her were immensely enriched by her presence. She walked un Buen Camino and triumphed in La Lucha for compassion and solidarity. It is time to celebrate her life and honor her memory.

“Ada Maria lived what she taught,” commented Notre Dame’s liberation and Hispanic theologian Virgilio Elizondo. “She was a great pioneer not just of creative theological thought but even more so of prophetic and visionary work among the people. She lives in our hearts and memory.”

+ Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz – PRESENTE! +

Read more:
Ada Marìa Isasi-Díaz, Mother of Mujerista Theology by MICHELLE GONZALEZ MALDONADO

Isasi-Diaz’s many books include:

Mujerista Theology: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century
En la Lucha / In the Struggle: A Hispanic Women’s Liberation Theology (Biblical Reflections on Ministry)
En La Lucha/In the Struggle: Elaborating a Mujerista Theology (10th Anniversary Edition)
La Lucha Continues: Mujerista Theology
Inheriting Our Mothers’ Gardens: Feminist Theology in Third World Perspective by Letty M. Russell, Kwok Pui-lan, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and Katie Geneva Cannon
Hispanic Women, Prophetic Voice in the Church: Toward a Hispanic Women’s Liberation Theology by Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz and Yolanda Tarango
Women of God, Women of the People: Four Biblical Meditations

Bedouin Desert Tricks and Exodus 17

Ched Myers is the best “Bible animator” I know. Here’s a short reflection from him on Exodus 17 that combines attentive listening to the text and deep earth wisdom.

Exodus 17:8-13 is a venerable old tale, if not a nonviolent one. Freshly liberated by YHWH (with an assist from nature) from Pharaoh’s imperial straightjacket, Moses and his refugee community have commenced their wilderness sojourn. They are having to re-learn primal lessons of subsistence gathering and dependence upon God’s creation (the “bread and water miracles” of Ex. 16-17 are old Bedouin tricks). Amidst this comes the very first resistance to their journey, as they are attacked by Amalekites, a contemporaneous nomadic tribe of raiders that was presumably far more adept at desert skirmishing than the Israelites. So commences the first of what will be innumerable battles with various inhospitable groups in the course of Israel’s liberation struggle.–Ched Myers

See more of Ched’s work at www.chedmyers.org.