Towards a Decolonial Theology: Perspectives from the Caribbean
This chapter develops the following topics: (1) The linkages between the Iberian conquest and Christianization of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the emergence of modernity, global empire, and capitalism. Latin America and the Caribbean became the cradle of modern expressions of Western imperial domination and missionary enterprises. It was an imperial process vindicated, but also contested, by theological arguments and scriptural hermeneutics, as attested by the writings of Francisco de Vitoria, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, José de Acosta, and others. (2) The ways in which contemporary biblical studies engage the voices of oppressed peoples and articulate decolonizing perspectives. Biblical Israel was a small nation subject to the ambitions of several powerful empires—Egypt, Syria, Assyria, Babylon, Macedonia, and Rome. Jesus’ crucifixion was a lethal expression of imperial repression in connivance with colonized hierarchies. (3) The emergence of contemporary decolonizing theologies, in conjunction with the Exodus paradigm and the hope for God’s kingdom that characterize Christian Scriptures. These theologies dare to discern critically the signs of times and radically engage the imperatives of human liberation.