2023-2024 Catalog

RELS 221 “Indecent” Liberation in Latin America

Between the 1960s and the 1980s, as feminist theologians of Latin America actively confronted the Vatican’s and liberation theology’s insufficiencies in leading the marginalized out of cycles of socio-economic oppression, such theologians were commonly deemed “indecent.” In this course, we will examine how various Latin American women and social movements embraced and  practiced indecent liberation, starting with the Mexican Revolutionary period and concluding with global understandings of indecent liberation in relation to religion and feminism. We will ask: How has “indecency” been constructed as a site of hegemonic power, particularly at the intersections of religion, race, gender, class, and/or able-bodiedness? In what ways is indecent liberation a form of empowerment and (how) does it relate to identity-formation? Is indecency merely a tool for liberation or a place of generative knowledge and ways of being? We will answer these questions through three main case studies, starting with “muscular” Christian women of the Mexican Revolution, continuing with indecent liberation theology during the mid- to late- twentieth century, and concluding with contemporary chicana epistemologies and ecofeminism. At the end of the class, students will apply course content to a case study of their choice in a final research project.


4 units

Cross Listed Courses

LLAS 221

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus