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UCLA professor to speak in Cleveland about the history of the Brown Church

Dr. Robert Chao Romero will discuss his latest book during Hispanic Heritage Month event.
Credit: Galilean Theological Center

CLEVELAND — In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Galilean Theological Center and Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center are teaming up to host two days of free lectures about “The History of the Brown Church” on Oct. 8 and 9.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Robert Chao Romero, who will be presenting on his new book, The History of the Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity. The talks will take place at Galilean Theological Center, 2226 W. 89th St., Cleveland.

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Romero will share his findings about the Brown Church movement, born in 1511 to protest Spanish imperialism and the exploitation of the indigenous peoples of modern-day Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

"Under the guidance of Dominican Friars Antonio Montesinos and Bartolome de Las Casas, the Brown Church first developed a unique body of social justice teachings that is called Brown Theology," according to Romero, a professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian-American Studies at UCLA in Los Angeles. "The writings of Las Casas represent the earliest theological challenge to colonial notions of race and racism."

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The Rev. Dr. Felix Muñiz, executive director of the Galilean Theological Center, said the goal of the event is to spread awareness of the Latina/o theology movement to new audiences, especially to the academic world and to young Latina/o Christians in the United States who seek an authentic, cultural theological voice for themselves.

“This event is important because history has for the most part been told from a European perspective or the dominant culture perspective, and not from the underside of history -- meaning from the marginalized or the disenfranchised,”  Muñiz said.

Romero will speak at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 and again at 9 a.m. on Oct. 9. Seats are limited and reservations are required. Please RSVP via Eventbrite by Oct. 1. Mask wearing is required.

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published on Oct. 14, 2020.

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