In Search of Christ in Latin America
From Colonial Image to Liberating Savior
Noted theologian Samuel Escobar offers a magisterial survey and study of Christology in Latin America. In Search of Christ in Latin America examines the figure of Jesus Christ in the context of Latin American culture, starting with the first Spanish influence in the sixteenth century and moving through popular religiosity and liberationist themes in Catholic and Protestant thought of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, culminating in an important description of the work of the Fraternidad Teológica Latinoamericana (FTL). Escobar provides theological, historical, and cultural analysis of Latin American understandings of Christ and places liberation theology within its social and revolutionary context. This book is an important step toward a rich understanding of the spiritual reality and powerful message of Jesus.
A treasure of a book! Escobar includes historical, sociological, political, and theological information and insights that give us the complex layers of understanding Christology in Latin America starting with its roots in Iberian theology and focusing on the Christology in the twentieth century. The explanations are clear, and the interweaving of the different sources and arguments can be easily followed. I simply could not put it down. As a practical theologian interested in matters of mission and evangelism, I had been thirsty for a resource such as this one. It is enjoyable and profoundly interesting reading.
Coordinator of Relations with Theological Entities,
Association for Hispanic Theological Education
Where do we begin the task of elaborating an Original Latin American Christology? In this well-documented account of the presence of Christ’s image in Latin America, Samuel Escobar answers that question with cultural, missiological, and theological competence. I know of no other work within Protestantism that has achieved what Escobar did in this book—not another modern Christology of sorts but the path for the construction of Original Christology from the context of the American Global South, beyond normative occidentalized theological attempts.
Associate Professor of Theology and Latino/a Studies,
Fuller Theological Seminary
Samuel Escobar’s study of Christology in Latin America is the fruit of a lifetime of critical evangelical engagement with the challenges of Latin American society, as well as with the riches of Latin American literary culture. If you want to grasp the distinctive contours of Christianity in Latin America—whether Catholic or Protestant—read this book. If you want to understand why all Christians need an understanding of Jesus that is rooted, not simply in his death and resurrection, but also in his earthly ministry and his proclamation of the kingdom of God, read this book.
Professor of world Christianity,
University of Edinburgh
One of the foremost Latin American theologians Samuel Escobar deftly weaves together the vivid colors of Latin American Christology in this clear, comprehensive, and critically engaged volume. In Search of Christ in Latin America is a tapestry of the dramatic portraits of Christ incarnate that emerge from the Latin American context as a gift to the pueblo and the global church. Escobar is a participant in the development of Latin American theology and not simply a sideline observer. As such, Don Samuel offers us a faithful as well as readable reflection on Jesus’ person, presence, ministry, and significance for contemporary Christian mission.
Gene L. Green
Professor of New Testament, emeritus,
Wheaton College and Graduate School
The journey of Christianity in the Americas is not complete unless an account of Jesus Christ confessed and followed in Latin America is given in its theological and religious depth. Samuel Escobar’s work is a necessary map for this very task. It traces the histories of how a contextual Christology emerged from the underside of modernity and the margins of western Christianity to confront the realities of the impoverished and suffering masses. From the Roman Catholic liberation theologians to the nascent Protestant evangelical theology in the 1970s, Escobar’s cartography of faith is both a sacred memory and a constructive path for a Jesus lived and commended.
Jules A. Martínez-Olivieri
Assistant professor of Faith and Culture,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Table of Contents
- Foreword by C. René Padilla
- 1. From the Poor Christ to Christ of the Poor
- 2. The Iberian Christ Who Crossed the Oceans
- 3. That Other Christ of the Indians
- 4. Christ in Early Protestant Preaching
- 5. The Beginnings of an Evangelical Latin American Christology
- 6. Christ in Ecumenical Protestant Thought
- 7. Christology in Times of Revolution
- 8. A Christological Renewal in Catholicism
- 9. Jesus Christ and the Revolutionaries
- 10. The Kingdom of God
- 11. Latin America Enters the Theological Scene
- 12. Christ in Latin American Culture Once Again
- 13. Jesus Christ’s New Time for Reflection and Dialogue
- 14. Jesus and the Lifestyle and Mission of the Kingdom
- 15. With Jesus in Global Mission
- Appendix: Present Directions of Evangelical Theological Reflection
- Name Index
- Scripture Index