Essays on Methods and Understanding
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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