Describing how "standard" readings of the Bible are not always acceptable to people or groups on the "margins," this book afters valuable new insights into biblical texts today.
Author Miguel De La Torre, a well-respected ethicist and professor known for his innovative readings of Christian doctrine, rejects both the liberal and conservative prejudices about sex. He instead develops an ethic that is liberative yet grounded soundly in the Bible; a sexuality that celebrates God’s gift of great sex by fostering intimacy, vulnerability and openness between loving partners.
In A Lily Among the Thorns, De La Torre examines the Bible, current events, history and our culture-at-large to show how and why racism, sexism, and classism have distorted Christianity’s central teachings about sexuality. The author shows how the church’s traditionally negative attitudes toward sex in general—and toward women, people of color, and gays in particular—have made it difficult, if not impossible, to create a biblically based and just sexual ethic. But when the Bible is read from the viewpoint of those who have been marginalized in our society, preconceived notions about Christianity and sex get turned on their heads. Taking on hot-button topics such as pornography, homosexuality, prostitution, and celibacy, the author examines how “reading from the margins” provides a liberating approach to dealing with issues of sexuality.
De la Torre's goal is to initiate a civil conversation that can replace the politics of fear that now dominates discussions of immigration.
While Jesus is an admirable figure for Christians, The Politics of Jesús highlights the way the Jesus of dominant culture is oppressive and describes a Jesús from the barrio who chose poverty and disrupted the status quo. Saying “no” to oppression and its symbols, even when one of those symbols is Jesus, is the first step to saying “yes” to the self, to liberation, and symbols of that liberation. For Jesus to connect with the Hispanic quest for liberation, Jesús must be unapologetically Hispanic and compel people to action. The Politics of Jesús provocatively moves the study of Jesús into the global present.
Miami Cubans use a religious expression, la lucha, or "the struggle," to justify the power and privilege they have achieved. Within the context of la lucha, De La Torre explores the religious dichotomy created between the "children of light" (Exilic Cubans) and the "children of darkness" (Resident Cubans). Examining the recent saga of the Elián González custody battle, he shows how the cultural construction of la lucha has become a distinctly Miami-style spirituality that makes el exilio (exile) the basis for religious reflection, understanding, and practice—and that conflates political mobilization with spiritual meaning in an ongoing confrontation with evil.