A journal of academic theology

Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer

To Dream in North and South America: Reflections on the Sixtieth Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

This article reflects on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered
sixty years ago in Washington, DC. It begins by pointing to the concept of “dream”
as it is understood in current language and how Dr. King used it in a theological way.
Next, the essay compares this with what Pope Francis has frequently said about
dreams, including his own. Reflecting on King’s words and the sense that the dream
he spoke about is still not a reality but a horizon of hope that stimulates struggle,
the article presents a comparative study of racism in the United States, according
to King, and Brazil, where structural racism permeates the whole society, delaying
indefinitely the dream of equality and justice. I also show how liberation theology has
been a helpful element in the struggle to keep the dream of equality alive. I

Concerning Victims, Sexuality, and Power: A Reflection on Sexual Abuse from Latin America

The author underscores the ethical imperatives incumbent on the community called
church in light of the needs and experiences of children. The immediate circumstance
relates to ongoing revelation of widespread clergy sexual abuse of children and
vulnerable adults and the moral duty of the community called church to care for
and protect them. This approach unfolds within two overlapping and overarching
contexts: first, the ecclesiology of the Roman Catholic Church and, second, African
cultural beliefs and religious traditions. A particular focus is placed on the paucity of
Catholic theological or ethical reflection on the dignity of the child, and remedies for
this lacuna, particularly with respect to the African Catholic Church.

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