Stream of Liberation
(In this third section of my paper, “Metaphoring Manifold: The Plurality of Theopoetics,” I discuss the liberation stream that has deeply influenced the river of theopoetics.)
Stream of Liberation: Alves, Hinojosa-Cisneros, and Duguid-May
Theopoetics would, perhaps, be simply another white, heterosexual, male-dominated theology if it were not for the gargantuan impact of liberation theology. From Latin American to women to queer liberation, theopoetics would not be what it is today without the liberation stream.
Its liberation stream’s headwater began with Rubem Alves. Alves is arguably the most under-appreciated Latin American liberation theologian–perhaps because his career encompassed work as a theologian, psychoanalyst, educator, and children’s book author. While in seminary in the United States for his master’s and doctorate, Alves became increasingly discontented with academia for its commitment to a prosaic epistemology and pedagogy. Nonetheless, Alves trudged through academia and his scholarship, eventually earning a doctorate from Princeton Seminary. In addition to being discontented with academia, Alves was also discontented with liberation theology–suggesting it had little to say about the personal dimension of life. Yet, Alves still found liberation theology valuable enough to offer his contribution to it, proposing, “[t]he origin of my liberation theology is an erotic exuberance for life. We need to struggle to restore its erotic exuberance, to share this with the whole world.” Eventually in his career, Alves exited the standards of academia and began to write in a more “honest manner.” This exit launched Alves into theopoetics, thus becoming a monumental figure in the field. His alternation to theopoetics was less theoretical and more of necessity for existential liberation, “a feeling that he can no longer speak of God in traditionally academic modes of discourse because they no longer sufficed to account for the experience of God, which he so dearly wants to reflect.” Therefore, Alves opened theopoetics to the beauty of the liberation theology tradition…