Justo L. González: The Mestizo Augustine: A Theologian Between Two Cultures. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016; pp. 175.

Justo L. González: The Mestizo Augustine: A Theologian Between Two Cultures. Downers Grove: IVP... When I say I am a historical theologian, a common response, typical of our racially charged scholastic milieu, is, “Oh, so you like the dead white guys!” Of course, I affirm the need to diversify our interlocutors and methods, and to critically name the historical forces silencing certain voices even today. But after admitting these realities, I usually retort, “Most of the Church Fathers were not white.”Justo González’ reading of Augustine through the lens of mestizaje is a refreshing take on patristics generally and on Augustinian studies specifically. This cultural critical move agitates our sedate reception of the North African bishop. To state the obvious, Augustine, and for that matter most of the Gregories and both Cyrils, were — being anachronistic here — “brown” and “black.” The Mothers and Fathers, as González attests, were subtly yet profoundly shaped by their cultural identity.González’ central claim is simple: to truly understand Augustine, we need to see him as a mestizo, as a hybrid of Roman and North African cultures, who did “mestizo theology” (p. 18). The term mestizo/a was originally an epitaph given by Spanish invaders in the Americas to persons of mixed descent (Amerindian and Iberian). As González concludes, “his http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religious History Wiley

Justo L. González: The Mestizo Augustine: A Theologian Between Two Cultures. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016; pp. 175.

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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
© 2018 Religious History Association
ISSN
0022-4227
eISSN
1467-9809
D.O.I.
10.1111/1467-9809.12495
Publisher site
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Abstract

When I say I am a historical theologian, a common response, typical of our racially charged scholastic milieu, is, “Oh, so you like the dead white guys!” Of course, I affirm the need to diversify our interlocutors and methods, and to critically name the historical forces silencing certain voices even today. But after admitting these realities, I usually retort, “Most of the Church Fathers were not white.”Justo González’ reading of Augustine through the lens of mestizaje is a refreshing take on patristics generally and on Augustinian studies specifically. This cultural critical move agitates our sedate reception of the North African bishop. To state the obvious, Augustine, and for that matter most of the Gregories and both Cyrils, were — being anachronistic here — “brown” and “black.” The Mothers and Fathers, as González attests, were subtly yet profoundly shaped by their cultural identity.González’ central claim is simple: to truly understand Augustine, we need to see him as a mestizo, as a hybrid of Roman and North African cultures, who did “mestizo theology” (p. 18). The term mestizo/a was originally an epitaph given by Spanish invaders in the Americas to persons of mixed descent (Amerindian and Iberian). As González concludes, “his

Journal

Journal of Religious HistoryWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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