Decolonizing theological education and restoring agency to the people
Latinx Protestantism is a rapidly growing element of American Christianity--in both Pentecostal and non-charismatic forms. How should institutions of theological education in the United States welcome and incorporate the gifts of these populations into their work? This is an especially difficult question considering the painful history of colonization in Latin America and the Caribbean, an agenda in which theological education was long complicit.
In this book, Elizabeth Conde-Frazier takes stock of the cabos sueltos--loose ends--left over from the history of Latinx Christianity, including the ways the rise of Pentecostalism disrupted existing power structures and opened up new ways for Latinx people to assert agency. Then, atando cabos--tying these loose ends together--she reflects on how a new paradigm, centered on the work of the Holy Spirit, can serve to decolonize theological education going forward, bringing about an in-breaking of the kingdom of God. Conde-Frazier illustrates how this in-breaking would bring changes in epistemology, curriculum, pedagogy, and models for financial sustainability. Atando Cabos explores each of these topics and proposes a collaborative ecology that stresses the connections between theological education and wider communities of faith and practice. Far from taking a position of insularity, Atando Cabos works from the particularities of the Latinx Protestant context outward to other communities that are wrestling with similar issues so that, by the end, it is a call for transformation--a new reformation--for the entire Christian church.