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Reading the Bible from the Margins
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Reading the Bible from the Margins

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  92 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This introduction focuses on how issues involving race, class, and gender influence our understanding of the Bible.Describing how "standard" readings of the Bible are not always acceptable to people or groups on the "margins," this book afters valuable new insights into biblical texts today.
Paperback, 196 pages
Published March 1st 2002 by Orbis Books
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Luke Hillier
This book is more of a 3.5 than a 4, but I so appreciated its intent and message that it's easier to forgive the areas in which it came up short. In many ways, this is a really ideal introduction to a more justice (or praxis-) oriented approach to Christianity and especially the Bible. It methodically lays out what is problematic about a privileged understanding of Christianity from the center (largely that it abstracts the transformative and radical callings of the faith into metaphorical looph ...more
Jeremy Zimmerman
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Quite an interesting book. This book was the common reading for the Messiah College Philadelphia Campus in the fall 2012 semester, and as a part of our learning, the author actually came to our house and gave a lecture, as well as did a Q&A session. It was very fascinating to see people from various theological backgrounds interact with both the text and the author. I would say that I am a little more theologically liberal than most, so for me, this book was nothing particularly new or shock ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Years ago I remember yearning to read the Bible with an understanding different from my white middle class US eyes. This book has cracked open that yearning just a wee bit. De La Torre, a Cuban immigrant living in Florida, gives us some idea of what certain passages mean to those who live in the margins and it's very different than the interpretation that I give them. I was especially moved by his chapter on a Latino Jesus, a Black Jesus, as female Jesus and a gay Jesus, since, in the author's o ...more
Alisa Ediger
This type of book is critical for people from affluent white communities to see different perspectives. There is a lot of insight into how different people groups read the Bible that can help broaden a persons understanding of the text and of society. I do wish some parts were more in depth. The book covers so many marginalized groups (various ethnicities, sexualities, and socio-economic levels) that it could not dive into any one too deeply, but rather was a more of a survey of marginalized rea ...more
Seth Little
This is an exceptional, if uncomfortable, book for Christians of dominant (white, Euroamerican) cultures to read in order to help us reflect constructively on the social conditionings we inherently bring to the texts of the Bible. De la Torre uncovers the ways in which the scriptures are often interpreted to mask power structures designed to protect the dominant culture while harming those on the "margins" of society. All readings of texts necessarily involve interpretation, and this is a fundam ...more
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ministries who serve the public "in need" or serve in the Urban Ministries
This is an interesting read. De La Torre raises questions that challenge his readers to re-examine maintream thought. He provides transparency to what may commonly be invisible in connection with the "poor and outcasts" of society. He confronts the question, "what is discrimination?" Miguel's exegesis on the biblical text is awakening for the Modern Day Christian and too real to be ignored by any person working in the faith and love of God.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can't exactly remember when I got this book, but it was shortly after hearing Miguel A. de la Torre speaking at a conference. He made the point that there is one Greek word that can be translated as either righteousness or justice. So, in the Beatitudes my English NIV says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," while my Spanish Bible says, "Dichosos los que tienen hambre y sed de justicia." While my understanding of righteousness had always been about an individual relat ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
I had some mixed feelings about this book. There were many points brought up by De La Torre that I agreed with, and quite a few times I had to process through an idea that I had not thought of before. However, there were also certain parts that I did not necessarily agree with 100%. The main disagreement I had with him was his definition of racism. While De La Torre disagrees with the modern definition of racism being the active hatred for another race or the conscious belief that one is superio ...more
This book is an important and valuable introduction to how the history of biblical interpretation has prioritized the readings of the dominant culture over the interpretations of marginalized peoples. De La Torre convincingly challenges this hermeneutical prioritization by arguing that marginalized voices are, after all, the very voices Jesus' mission of good news and justice was for, and only be hearing these voices can both oppressors and the oppressed find abundant life. He offers indispensib ...more
Dec 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
I don't think I'm quite the target audience for this book; it comes from a course for conservative Midwestern Christians who think there's only one "right" interpretation of any given Bible passage. That said, many of the perspectives discussed are interesting and new to me. The author sometimes tries to back up his statements with reasoning/logic, and this is where the book feels weakest -- unsurprisingly, it's hard to have airtight logic around the interpretation of religious texts.

Also, the s
Rachael Estabrook
A fantastic book that I greatly enjoyed reading and was a eye opening book. It brings to light our biases and demands that we change the way we view our interpretations. I would highly recommend this book.
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that does just what it says on the cover. It opened up my understanding of the bible and the people on the margins. It was also easy to read.
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I like the author's point and it is a very valid point...but the point became belabored and lost some of its interest, potency, necessity by the end of the book.
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De La Torre received a Masters in Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctorate from Temple University in social ethics. The focus of his academic pursuit has been ethics within contemporary U.S. thought, specifically how religion affects race, class, and gender oppression. He specializes in applying a social scientific approach to Latino/a religiosity within this country, L ...more
More about Miguel A. de la Torre
“God's self-revelation to humanity does not occur from the centers of world power but in the margins of society.” 1 likes
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