Forthcoming:

Pope Francis in Postcolonial Reality: Complexities, Ambiguities, and Paradoxes

edited by Nicolas Panotto and Jason Craige Harris

Postcolonial frameworks attune us to contradictions, complexities, paradoxes, and ambivalences that mark our social, cultural, economic, and religious formations. They unsettle binary oppositions and either/or logics that erect imaginary regimes of purity or impurity, innocence or guilt, despair or hope, death or resurrection. A robust postcolonial analysis displaces totalizing claims, showing the ways dynamics and possibilities of oppression and liberation co-exist, always simultaneously emergent. Bringing such an analysis to bear on the election of Pope Francis, and by extension contemporary Catholicism and the legacies of Christianity in the Americas, yields a profound portrait of the burdens and promises of religion, of the everyday strivings of Latin Americans, and of the intricacies of the human person.

Chapter Descriptions:

• Preface

• Contradictions, complexities, paradoxes, and ambivalences that characterize Latin American responses to Pope Francis’ election; how it responds to the complexity of the construction of religious identities in Latin America

• Contradictions, complexities, paradoxes, and ambivalences that characterize the legacies of Christianity in the Americas, and its relation to Pope Francis’ election

• Theorizing progressive change in uniquely Roman Catholic ways; between scholastic and postcolonial philosophy

• Pope Francis in light of critical poverty concerns (preferential option for the poor, Jesuit identity, charity, economic justice/structural critique)

• Pope Francis in light of critical sexuality and gender concerns (marriage equality, women’s ordination, and the roles of women and of sexual minorities in the church)

• Pope Francis in light of critical race concerns (Catholicism, racial hierarchies, symbolic constructions of whiteness and blackness in Latin America)

• Pope Francis in light of relationship between liberation theology and postcolonial theology and the future of critical theologies

• Pope Francis in light of religious pluralism/inter-religious engagement

• Pope Francis in light of imperial religion/Christendom, collusions between religion and state/religion and empire; Argentine history

• Pope Francis election in the light of contemporary geopolitical situation. Why a Latin American Pope now?

• Conclusion: Pope Francis in light of the future–hope, resurrection, longing, prophetic role of religion, everyday faith of marginalized Latin Americans, new birth, resurrection

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