- Guadalupe’s Legacy: How a 486-year-old vision of Mary in Mexico continues to influence the church
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This perception was a powerful faith experience for the poor and marginalized year-old Christianized Indian. The perceptions of Juan Diego may offer us an understanding of others' faith experience in perceiving this image. He is part of the event and is the interpreter of that event to his culture. Our Lady of Guadalupe is not merely a popular story but is actually a recorded religious experience of Juan Diego.
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His religious experience underwent certain changes which follow a pattern. Although Juan Diego lived in a different time and culture, I have found James Fowler's Stages of Faith schema useful for my own understanding of his experience. The psychosocial perspective concerns itself with the assumptive worldview of the subjects, including assumptions formed by perceptions, behaviors, environment, emotional states, values, expectations, and the way a person images the self and others. This perspective is influenced by experience and by the historical events, choices, and social conditioning that make up a person's psychosocial milieu.
The religious dimension of the assumptive worldview integrates both religious belief and human behavior, an approach which is especially relevant to a study of Mexican-American women in relation to Our Lady of Guadalupe. In this population, religion is overtly a part of culture, and for many Hispanics the religious worldview is the only worldview. Additionally, religious and cultural oppression play a major role in the formation of this population's worldview.
In Chapter 4, I examine the social science literature on Mexican-American women and discuss its shortcomings, including the stereotypical interpretations of Mexican-American women, men, and their families, the problems with these uncritical studies and interpretations, and the picture that is emerging from careful critical study.
This chapter focuses on the psychosocial religious reality and the assumptive world of contemporary Mexican-American women, using their history as a springboard. These women are not only the product of a mixture of Spanish and indigenous roots the Mexican culture, mestizaje but also of the Anglo-American culture which has traditionally dominated life in the United States.
Mexican-American women are thus mestizas twice over, ethnically and culturally. In addition we cannot ignore the influence of Christianity itself. Our Lady of Guadalupe as an essentially mestiza figure may serve as a symbol that embodies this multiculturalism. Grebler, J. Moore, and R. They recount the past through the eyes of the Mexican and the Mexican-American people, rather than through the eyes of those who most benefited from that history.
Judith Sweeney brings a feminist interpretation to historical events. The social scientists used in this study-M. Their work has refuted that of Mexican Rogelio Diaz-Guerrero , and those Anglo writers who base their theories on him. In addition, the work of George Bach-y-Rita is used to underscore the psychological reality of Mexican-American women today. I offer a feminist revision of the stereotype and conclude by highlighting the importance of acculturation. Chapter 5 summarizes the data about the psychosocial religious aspects of the Mexican-American women in the sample.
Here you will encounter the women who participated in the original study. They did more than participate: they opened their hearts and shared their lives. Because of their generosity of spirit and their trust, my life was changed. For those of you who have experienced the presence of Our Lady of Guadalupe in your lives, and have been nurtured by that presence, I want to affirm and validate that source of strength for you.
And for those who seek to be consoled, empowered, and given direction, I invite you to contemplate her image. For my study I purposely selected Mexican-American women who had to some degree been acculturated. I sought to identify the existence and nature of continual Guadalupan devotion and to examine the effects of acculturation. My criteria for acculturation were that the women 1 be Mexican American, 2 be second-generation, 3 be English speaking, 4 have a high school diploma, and 5 have been exposed in some way to the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Guadalupe’s Legacy: How a 486-year-old vision of Mary in Mexico continues to influence the church
Traditionally, the nucleus group of Guadalupe devotees is lower class, but as it happened the more acculturated group was slightly more affluent. However, I set out to study acculturated devotees, not more affluent ones. I have attempted to retrieve a basic meaning in a new context. In Chapter 6, I explain how the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe can be understood in light of the psychosocial religious state of the Mexican-American women in this study.
This state contributes to the data needed to respond to the following six research questions: 1 What is the assumptive world of the Mexican-American women in this study? I show how exposure to the experience of the apparition can lead to tension and conflict, potentially moving the individual from reflection to change.
The story of Guadalupe may enable Mexican-American women to move beyond the model of silent, passive endurance to one of empowerment, defense, and help for the oppressed. These questions cannot be answered adequately by any one of the theorists mentioned previously; thus, using an interdisciplinary analysis, I asked the women to speak for themselves.
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Chapter 7 begins the process of theological reflection about Our Lady of Guadalupe. In addition to the influences of conquest and acculturation, Christianity has played a major role in the definition of Mexican-American women's identity because Christianity's belief system has so dominated the cultures of which they have been a part.
There are three areas in which the understanding and application of the Guadalupe event may offer some theological insights to the larger church: 1 popular religiosity, 2 Guadalupe as symbol of God's unconditional love, and 3 the need for "feminine" metaphors for a more comprehensive understanding of the divine. In conclusion, the purpose is not only a better understanding of our Mexican-American brothers and sisters. I feel that the image and symbol of Guadalupe itself has something to contribute to all the inhabitants of the Americas by helping us amplify our understanding of who and what God is and how God works in the world.
I also believe that the symbol of Guadalupe can be a model for what church needs to be-primarily inclusive. Because I believe she can be a source of comfort, validation, and empowerment, I propose that Our Lady of Guadalupe be given an appropriate place in both theological education and ministerial training to assist those encountering Mexican-American women.
My theoretical framework, a psychosocial religious perspective, is an interdisciplinary construct. My tools and methods are also interdisciplinary composites, using a variety of cognitive as well as affective approaches to elicit a response to something that had never before been asked. Her six years of research lead her to assert that Mexican-American women learn from Guadalupe about themselves as well as something about who God is. This is a study of dignity and humanity, of true power. In reporting what she has learned in her six-year journey toward understanding Guadalupe and Mexican-American women, Jeanette Rodriguez challenges prevailing readings of both.
Throughout, there shines the promise of a passionate, vital, feminine star in the theological firmament. All rights reserved. This site was generously funded, in part, by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Share this book. Latinx Studies: Cultural Studies. Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Faith and Empowerment among Mexican-American Women. By Jeanette Rodriguez. Foreword by Fr. Virgilio Elizondo.
January This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available. Methodology and Research Findings Chapter 6. Analysis: Six Questions Chapter 7. Theological Significance Chapter 8. US Guadalupe theology has more recently undergone further development. Elizondo, Virgilio P. La Morenita: Evangelizer of the Americas. This book presents a Catholic theological reflection of what the apparition story of Our Lady of Guadalupe means to Catholic Mexican Americans. It is a key grassroots interpretation and resource for both scholars and the general public.
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Scholars in the areas of cultural anthropology, theology, and Chicano studies would find this book of particular interest. Guadalupe: Mother of the New Creation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, This book would be of interest to scholars, college students, and the general audience alike. Goizueta, Roberto S. Edited by Craig R. Prentiss, — Religion, Race, and Ethnicity. In the tradition of Virgilio Elizondo, Goizueta explores the Catholic and cultural influence of the account of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the social construction of Mexican American identity.
Scholars and the general audience interested in the relationship among race, ethnicity, and religion would find this piece interesting. Johnson, Maxwell E. Celebrating Faith.
This work would be of interest to those seeking to understand Our Lady of Guadalupe from a non-Catholic theological perspective. Maxwell Johnson, a Lutheran minister, explores the significance and contribution of Guadalupe to Protestantism and Latin American Christianity in general. This book is recommended as a companion to Elizondo Machado, and Jeanette Rodriguez, — Austin: University of Texas Press, This essay complements Goizueta Rodriguez, Jeanette. This book challenges traditional Guadalupan theology, by placing the voices of women at the center of theological reflection.
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