This work models a creative exercise in ecclesiology based on a Latino/a practical theology of the Spirit, which designs theological discourse based on its encounter with the Spirit in human culture. Hence, it is a theology appreciative of and attentive to the "multiple matrices and intersections" of the Spirit with cultures. Garcia-Johnson offeres an appreciative and critical analysis of the uses of culture among Latino/a theologians, followed by the proposal for a postmodern Spirit-friendly cultural paradigm based on the narratives of the cross and the Pentecost. He develops a practical theology for a Latino/a postmodern ecclesiology based on three native Latino/a theological concepts: mestizaje, accompaniment, and manana eschatology. The resulting ecclesial construct-The Mestizo/a Community of Manana-reflects a transforming manana vision and models the visible cruciform community in which the transforming praxis and historical transcendence of the Christ-Spirit works from within. The work sets forth practical guidelines for implementation of the ecclesial construct in the urban context of devastated communities and offers suggestions for further development in Latino/a theology.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"The most important theological questions at the turn of the twenty-first century are ecclesiological-what is it to 'be' and 'do' church? Oscar Garcia-Johnson's provocative and critical Laino/a postmodern ecclesiology of the Spirit is an important and needed contribution to contemporary theological dialogue. The Mestizo Community of the Spirit is a must read for those interested in 'listening' to the emerging and creative Latino/a 'voices.'" --Eldin Villafane Professor of Christian Social Ethics and Founding Director, Urban Ministerial Education, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"In this stunning and original theological work, Oscar Garcia-Johnson dips deep into the flowing stream of the Latino/a community and finds there a new theological paradigm where a culture of the Spirit emerges. This is a culture where revelation and praxis come together and where cruciformity is not only a Christological praxis but is a transforming social ethic. . . . Pastors as well as theologians will soon have this book at the top of their'must read' book list." -Ray S. Anderson Senior Professor of Theology and Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Garcia-Johnson challenges the Latino/a church to become a mestizo/a community of manana by allowing the Spirit to guide it within the complexity, unpredictability, and randomness that is Latino culture in a postmodern world. He presents a contextualized Latino/a theology that recognizes the importance of the Holy Spirit in the community that believes in God's future. I am grateful to him for showing us how Latino/a churches can be committed communities of survival, hope, and belief." -Juan Martinez Assistant Dean for the Hispanic Church Studies Department and Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Pastoral Leadership, Fuller Theological Seminary
Oscar Garcia-Johnson's postmodern ecclesiology of the Mestizo/a Community is a powerful testimony to the fact that constructive Latino/a theology has not only arrived but has come of age. . . . Here is an inspiring 'commuting story' of the church that speaks both to the Latino/a communities and the rest of us. --Veli-Matti Karkkainen Professor of Systematic Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary; Docent of Ecumenics, University of Helsinki, Finland
Oscar Garcia-Johnson Eldin Villafane
Oscar Garcia-Johnson is an adjunct Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Hispanic Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. In addition, he is an ordained minister serving as Regional Minister with the American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles. He lives with his wife Karla and his son Chris in Sylmar, California.