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Bonhoeffer and Interpretive Theory

Essays on Methods and Understanding


Edited By Peter Frick

How does the contemporary reader make sense of the life and writings of such an icon as Dietrich Bonhoeffer? The essays in this volume seek to address this question by carefully examining the social, cultural, religious and intellectual locations that inform the Sitz im Leben of a vast readership of Bonhoeffer. The focus of each of the essays is thus on the task of articulating and clarifying a hermeneutically self-conscious and responsible approach to interpreting and understanding Bonhoeffer. The authors come from widely divergent backgrounds, both geographically and intellectually, and therefore offer a wide spectrum of dialogue. Methods and approaches examined in the essays discuss themes such as gender, religion, race, ecology, politics, philosophy, literature among others.


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Carlos R. Caldas: Interpreting Bonhoeffer “From Below” in the Context of Latin American Poverty


Carlos R. Caldas Interpreting Bonhoeffer “From Below” in the Context of Latin American Poverty Introductory Remarks What is “Latin America?” What is this expression all about? We use these two words, but it is not an easy task to determine what they mean. If, for example, one defines the expression in geographical terms, then the popular tendency becomes immediately apparent, namely to define Latin America as the group of countries belonging to Central and South Amer- ica. This definition excludes Mexico from Latin America, because Mexico, geographically speaking, belongs to North America. But culturally speak- ing, Mexico is of course a Latin American country. Moreover, what about the English, Dutch and French-speaking countries of the Americas south of Rio Grande? They are part of the Caribbean, and in some cases of Cen- tral (e.g. Belize) or South America (e.g. French Guyana and Surinam), but culturally speaking, they are not Latin American countries. Then there is another question: what part of the continent is called “Latin”? There are many ethnic groups living in Latin America that are not “Latin:” the Ger- man descendents of the Southern Cone and the descendants of African black slaves, to name only a few.1 They are not “Latin” peoples but are still somehow “Latin Americans.” Therefore, one possibility would be to rename Latin America as “Ibero-America,” in view of the fact that the re- gion includes all the former colonies of Spain and Portugal. However, the expression “Latin America,” in spite of all...

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