The concept of borders is one constantly on the minds of Americans, in the country’s present climate and throughout its history. On March 31, Roberto S. Goizueta, 2019-2020 distinguished visiting professor in the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture, will present a public lecture on this relevant topic from a theological perspective. “Christ on the Border: Retrieving a Dangerous Memory” will take place at 4:00 p.m. in Room 360 of Candler’s Rita Anne Rollins Building.
In his lecture, Goizueta will suggest that the border is a privileged place for encountering the Gospel and hearing Christ’s liberating message. In the U.S. context, the border always carries with it what he calls a “frontier mentality”—a perception of the border as being “a meeting place between savagery and civilization.” How do these perspectives influence the American understanding of the border?
Goizueta notes that “of particular interest will be the theological significance of Galilee as a borderland. A Jew from Galilee, Jesus’s life and ministry privilege the borderland and its inhabitants as places of divine revelation. His crucifixion is a consequence of this life and ministry. And after his resurrection, he returns to Galilee.”
“This ‘dangerous memory’ of Jesus’s—and God’s—identification with the borderland and its people demands that we reimagine the very nature of the border,” Goizueta says. To do so, he will unpack the history of Christianity in Latin America, which, he says, “developed a very different understanding of borders than that which characterized the English colonies to the north.”
Goizueta is the Margaret O’Brien Flatley Professor of Catholic Theology Emeritus at Boston College. As holder of the McDonald Chair, he presents two public lectures and teaches a course on Spirituality of Liberation. Goizueta has been named one of the 10 most influential Hispanic-American educators, pastors, and theologians by The National Catholic Reporter, and is known for his research and teaching on Christology, theology and culture, liberation theology and Latino/a theology.
Learn more about Goizueta and the McDonald Chair.