God of the People: A Latino/a Theology
Dr. Casarella notes that, at least since St. Paul’s speech at the Areopagus, the message of Jesus Christ has been transmitted in translation. Paradigms of translation, developed, for example, by Paul Ricoeur and others, are both linguistic and ontological. According to Casarella, in the Latino/a experience of life and the God of life, both forms of translation are constantly in play. There is no one Latino/a translation of “God.” Moreover, there is no single Latino/a mode of signification that captures the diverse forms of mestizaje, transnational narratives, and mixtures of bilingual and bicognitive existence brought together in this shared identity. Professor Casarella argues that the Latino/a names of God (e.g., Dios, Diosito, Jesús, el Señor, Padrecito) bespeak a theological question that Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Thomas Aquinas, Nicholas of Cusa, Fray Luis de León, and Diego Valadez ably formulated. A Latino/a theology of divine names, however, foregrounds the beauty of popular Catholicism and the struggle to achieve, in the words of Isasi-Díaz, just a little bit of justice (un poquito de justicia). Casarella argues that these issues sometimes get lost in translation or relegated to the remedial domain of English as a Second Language. His study will bring the contemporary process of translating God back into the center of theological reflection.