By: Natalia Imperatori-Lee
"Fascinating! This book mounts a compelling argument that the study of the church (ecclesiology) should be rebuilt from the ground up, and wonderfully shows how it might be done. The key is narrative, whether personal, literary, ethnographic, or artistic. Drawn from Latino/a experience, here is a method that starts with particular lives and practices and moves to true universal import. Are laity as subjects, not objects, the people of God? Tell me!" --Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ, Fordham University
"Imperatori-Lee weaves these sources together masterfully, and the theology of church she produces simultaneously is rooted in the faith of the people from whom she comes and addresses the needs of the wider church." --America Magazine
"Imperatori-Lee's book sits us down for a rich conversation with compelling stories, which, trusting in grace, should flower into a widening circle of commitment in the U.S. Catholic Church with and for each other, and to count as 'presente' those who continue to be silenced." --National Catholic Reporter
If a people is known by the stories it tells, so too is a church. Since its inception in the mid-1970s, Latino/a theology has redefined notions of personhood and relationship, culture and interculturality, and notions of the divine itself. However, a coherent, systematic Catholic ecclesiology has yet to be elaborated from a Latino/a perspective.
This book undertakes that systemization in a multidisciplinary way, drawing upon Latin American and U.S. Hispanic literature as well as theological reflection, to devise an ecclesiology shaped by narrative. The author analyzes a variety of narratives—fiction, history, religious rituals, demographic studies—to find viable starting points for systematizing the “story” of the Church, which is ultimately what ecclesiology seeks to do.Natalia Imperatori-Lee is associate professor of religious studies at Manhattan College, NY, where she teaches in the areas of contemporary Catholicism, U.S. Latino/a Theology, and gender studies.