Research Catalog

Theology in the Americas records

Title
Theology in the Americas records, 1951-1988 (bulk 1970s).
Author
Theology in the Americas (Organization)
Supplementary Content
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Details

Description
7.6 lin. ft. (7 record cartons, 1.5 archival boxes)
Subjects
Note
  • Photographs transferred to Photographs and Prints Division.
  • Audiotapes transferred to Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division.
Source (note)
  • Theology in the Americas
Location of Other Archival Materials (note)
  • Black Theology Project records Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
  • Jualynne E. Dodson papers Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Biography (note)
  • Theology in the Americas (TIA) was formed in 1974 by Father Sergio Torres and others who brought together a multiracial coalition of approximately sixty action/reflection groups comprised of both Catholics and Protestants to begin the process of exploring the meaning of Liberation Theology for North America. The first set of conversations culminated in a conference in August 1975 in Detroit known as Detroit I, where two hundred North American and Latin American theologians, social activists, and community and church leaders of all races and ethnic groups met to explore the possibilities of Latin American "theology of liberation" for its possible relevance to North America.
  • The Detroit I Conference established a network of projects or affinity groups including The Black Theology Project, the Hispanic Project, the Women's Project, Quest for Liberation in the White Church, the Task Force of Professional Theologians, Labor and Church Dialogue, Asian Americans in the North American context, and Native Americans and Red Theology. From 1975 until the Detroit II Conference in August 1980, each project developed its own agenda held its own conferences, made its own statements in line with the overall TIA direction, and at times made some effort to establish inter-project dialogue. The Detroit II Conference either included or gave rise to the following projects: Asian American/Pacific Theology, Black Theology Project, Church and Labor Project, Hispanic Project, Native American Project, Theologians Task Force, Women's Project, and the Alternative Theology Project, later called the White Affinity Group. The conference was attended by over 550 individuals and saw the emergence of the Inter-Ethnic-Indigenous Peoples' Caucus which represented a significant advance in inter-project dialogue between the black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American participants
  • In the 1980's the leadership of the Theology in the Americas Project was transferred to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ under Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Call Number
Sc MG 369
OCLC
227180232
Author
Theology in the Americas (Organization)
Title
Theology in the Americas records, 1951-1988 (bulk 1970s).
Summary
The Theology in the Americas Records document the general organization of this group, the two major conferences it sponsored, and contains files pertaining to its affinity groups.
The Administrative Records encompass minutes and agendas of the executive committee; correspondence from executive secretary Sergio Torres and David Kalke, head of the coordinating team; files of the steering and national committees that planned the Detroit II Conference in 1980, and financial documents. The Conferences series contains records that pertain to the Detroit I Conference held in 1975 and include planning documents, information regarding the participants, and files concerning the reflection groups. The Detroit II files provide a history of the projects, applications of the participants in the various affinity groups as well as those of international guests, press articles, and an interview with black theologian James Cone, a proponent of Black Theology. There are also transcripts of the papers presented at the conference and a manuscript of the published conference proceedings, "Theology in the Americas" (1976).
The Projects series includes material related to the various affinity groups sponsored by TIA. Files can be found for the Asian American Project, composed of two subunits: Pacific & Asian American Center for Theology & Strategies and the Pacific/Asian American Women for Peace and justice as well as TIA's Third Inter-ethnic/Indigenous Dialogue which included Asian Americans (1983). The Black Theology Project files contain information about one of the conferences it sponsored - "Black Church and Black Community: Unity and Action for Education" (Atlanta, August 1977), a draft of a paper by Jualynne Dodson about the Fourth Inter-ethnic/Indigenous Dialogue (1984), and minutes for meetings of the executive committee and board of directors of which Howard Dodson served as chair. The Native American Project files consist of administrative records and information concerning a 1979 conference which articulated the situation of Native Americans nationally, their relationship to other groups struggling for liberation, and to the Church. The Women's Project files also contain administrative material as well as information related to the project's theme of "Women, Work and the Economy." In addition, there are files pertaining to a reorganization which included a racial/ethnic women's coalition that embarked on a series of cross-cultural dialogues. The Women's Project continued until at least 1984 as the Coalition of Third World Women/Racial, Ethnic Women's Coalition.
The Hispanic Theology Project dealt with problems of immigration, migrant workers, bilingual education, and related economic, social, political and cultural issues. Files pertain to several conferences and organizations, among them the Joint Strategy and Action Committee-Hispanic American Ministries, an Hispanic ecumenical gathering held in San Antonio, Texas in 1978, the Detroit II Conference in 1980, and Padres Asociados para Derechos Religiosos Educativos y Sociales (PADRES). Planning documents, conference evaluations, minutes of meetings, papers re liberation theology, and files discussing cooperation with Protestant organizations are also to be found in the Hispanic Theology Project records. Approximately 20% of the Hispanic Project files are written in Spanish.
The Alternative Theology Project, also known as the White Affinity Group, was comprised of marginalized white middle class Americans who objected to being identified with the poor and oppressed but nonetheless experienced powerlessness in the political and socio-economic culture of the United States. Files relate to the planning of various conferences and workshops held between 1978 and 1984. A major theme within this affinity group was whether liberation theology could be applied to North America.
Files document meetings held by the Religion and Labor Project, which emerged from the Detroit II Conference in response to the economic problems of the early 1980s. This project sought to bring together progressive spokespersons from the religious community and labor in an effort to advance new coalitions of community-based religious leaders "seeking alternatives to the capitalist system." The Task Force of Professional Theologians focused on ways that their group could contribute to the struggle for liberation. Records pertain to meetings it sponsored and preparation for the Detroit II Conference.
The final series, Printed Matter, contains publications of the Theology in the Americas Project, including newsletters, a documentation series concerning the various affinity groups, books related to the conferences as well as two issues of a journal titled "Doing Theology in the United States in Dialogue with the Indigenous Nations and Traditional Peoples" (1985-1988).
Biography
Theology in the Americas (TIA) was formed in 1974 by Father Sergio Torres and others who brought together a multiracial coalition of approximately sixty action/reflection groups comprised of both Catholics and Protestants to begin the process of exploring the meaning of Liberation Theology for North America. The first set of conversations culminated in a conference in August 1975 in Detroit known as Detroit I, where two hundred North American and Latin American theologians, social activists, and community and church leaders of all races and ethnic groups met to explore the possibilities of Latin American "theology of liberation" for its possible relevance to North America.
The Detroit I Conference established a network of projects or affinity groups including The Black Theology Project, the Hispanic Project, the Women's Project, Quest for Liberation in the White Church, the Task Force of Professional Theologians, Labor and Church Dialogue, Asian Americans in the North American context, and Native Americans and Red Theology. From 1975 until the Detroit II Conference in August 1980, each project developed its own agenda held its own conferences, made its own statements in line with the overall TIA direction, and at times made some effort to establish inter-project dialogue. The Detroit II Conference either included or gave rise to the following projects: Asian American/Pacific Theology, Black Theology Project, Church and Labor Project, Hispanic Project, Native American Project, Theologians Task Force, Women's Project, and the Alternative Theology Project, later called the White Affinity Group. The conference was attended by over 550 individuals and saw the emergence of the Inter-Ethnic-Indigenous Peoples' Caucus which represented a significant advance in inter-project dialogue between the black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American participants
In the 1980's the leadership of the Theology in the Americas Project was transferred to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ under Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Black Theology Project records Also located at; Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Jualynne E. Dodson papers Also located at; Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
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Research Call Number
Sc MG 369
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