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The Call of God
Women Doing Theology in Peru
The Call of God
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Tom Powers, SJ - Author
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 194 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5789-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5789-4

Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 194 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5790-7
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5790-0

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Explores the religious thought and lives of the poor women of Peru, who were central to the birth of liberation theology.

Based on conversations with women in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Lima, Peru, The Call of God explores how their faith provides them with an understanding amidst extreme poverty, violence, and displacement. Peru was the birthplace of liberation theology and the poor women of that country were instrumental in its original elucidation. This book introduces the women of El Agustino, where a diverse, dedicated and eloquent group have set out to answer questions, solve problems, and rebuild a society stricken with rampant inflation and terrorism, all in response to the call of God. Without much formal education, these women possess and espouse complex theological propositions with a high degree of independence and proficiency. A careful reading reveals an education of a different sort—one rooted in life's changing experiences; one directed toward a different liberation.

“Using principles of liberation theology in a fresh way, Powers creates a polyphonic work that brings a chorus of women’s voices alive from the urban despair of El Agustino.” — Theological Studies

"The Call of God provides a historical and theological context through which we can begin to hear what the women of Peru have to teach us about scripture, poverty, conversion, social responsibility, and the love of God. The book comes alive in its direct quotations from the women themselves as they tell the stories of their lives, their struggles and projects, and their evolving theologies." — Robert Inchausti, author of Thomas Merton's American Prophecy

"Powers brings to light the theological sophistication of so-called ordinary Peruvian women. In this respect, he is entering into an innovative and vital discussion about how religious and social change are effected in the real world." — Curt Cadorette, coeditor of Liberation Theology: An Introductory Reader

Tom Powers, S.J. is Director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality and Adjunct Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction

Why These Women?
Why El Agustino?
Liberation and Feminist Theologies
Contextual and Local Theologies

2. The Context

Historical Reflection as a Foundation
Sendero Luminoso
The Church in Peru
The City of Lima and the Barrio of El Agustino
Women in Peruvian History

3. The Women of El Agustino

A Personal Look at the Women
A Novel Quality
Voice and Listening in Theological Discourse
Theology or Vocation?
The Local Church
Faith Lived Out Loud
The Theological Context of El Agustino

4. The Theology

The Projects
SEA Finances
A Narrative, Listening, Acting Theology
Confronting Demons and Idols

5. The Path Ahead

Changes in Community/Changes in Theology
The Questions
The Road Ahead
A Different Liberation
Women and Future Theological Discourse

Appendix: Interviewees


Glossary of Spanish Words and Terms



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