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Call of God, The

Women Doing Theology in Peru

Tom S.J. Powers

Publication Year: 2003

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.

Published by: State University of New York Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

In 1997 I arrived in Peru on an all-night flight from California. By six o’clock that morning, I was at one of the Jesuit residences in Lima, tired, trying to think in Spanish, and ready for some sleep. My Peruvian friend, Lucho Herrera, S.J., introduced me to a woman who was in the lobby of the residence. ...

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Chapter 1. Introduction

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pp. 1-10

This book aims to illuminate the words and deeds, the reflections, and the faith of a group of women who live and work in El Agustino, one of the poorest barrios (neighborhoods) of Lima, Peru. Such barrios were created by a massive influx of people into Lima from the 1960s to the present as Peruvians sought relief ...

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Chapter 2. The Context

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pp. 11-42

El Agustino is built upon the traditions of the barrio, the city, the country, and the foreign cultures brought to, and assimilated into, Peruvian culture. We must understand this past and look for the theological and systemic links that have been carried forward. A historical perspective affords the opportunity to understand ...

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Chapter 3. The Women of El Agustino

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pp. 43-78

In their lives, work, words, and faith, the women of El Agustino reveal the dialectic between God’s salvific covenant and the necessity of human effort to work toward this promise. There exists no sense of merely waiting patiently for God to improve miraculously (or otherwise) their human state of affairs. ...

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Chapter 4. The Theology

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pp. 79-124

We have examined the way in which the women of Servicios Educativos El Agustino (Educational Services El Agustino or SEA) exist in a constantly changing, challenging, and pluralistic environment. Crucial to our understanding of their theology is that it, too, is evolving in the same diverse climate. ...

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Chapter 5. The Path Ahead

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pp. 125-138

Fifty years ago, El Agustino hardly existed. Today it is a community of over 152,000 people. This pueblo joven (young town), like so many throughout the city of Lima and throughout the country of Peru, has been the site of a sociological phenomenon as multiple cultures, languages, and religious traditions unite to form community. ...


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pp. 139-142


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pp. 143-164

Glossary of Spanish Words and Terms

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pp. 165-168


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pp. 169-176


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pp. 177-184

E-ISBN-13: 9780791486566
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791457894
Print-ISBN-10: 0791457893

Page Count: 194
Publication Year: 2003

OCLC Number: 55136758
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Call of God, The

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Women in church work -- Catholic Church.
  • Women in church work -- Peru -- Lima.
  • Servicios Educativos El Agustino.
  • Theology -- Peru -- Lima.
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