Colonial Encounters: Sor Juana, Guaman Poma, and the Birth of the Brown Church

Wed 1/24/2024 • 3:30PM - 4:45PM PST

Kaplan 365

In person (Kaplan 365)

This guest lecture examines the little known multicultural religious protests to the Spanish Conquest of colonial Latin America. Such protests began in 1511 under the guidance of Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos and led to “The Great Debate” in which, for the first time in recorded human history, an entire nation paused to reflect on the moral injustice of war and colonization. In the decades and centuries to come, mestizo, black, indigenous, female, Spanish, and Asian voices would arise to challenge the perverted racial and sexist logic of the Spanish colonial project. This talk further examines the lives and voices of three of these diverse leaders—Garcilaso de la Vega el Inca, Guaman Poma de Ayala, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Together, these multicultural protests gave birth to the “Brown Church” and a 500 year tradition of Christian social justice in Latin America.

Robert Chao Romero is an associate professor in the Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies and Central America Studies. Romero is the author of “Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity,” and co-author of “Christianity and Critical Race Theory” and “God’s Resistance: Mobilizing Faith to Defend Immigrants.” Romero is also an ordained minister and faith rooted community organizer.

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Center for the Study of Religion