10 January 2011

Faith and Culture: help me decide our AP topic

(Keep in mind I teach at a private faith-based school and this isn't an invitation for a debate.) I'm in a dilemma between two potential topics for our next AP focus. Will you help me decide and/or make suggestions?

Our current unit in AP Spanish is called "La verdad es que..." and it's about how faith relates to culture in Spanish-speaking countries. In the first part of the unit, the assignments are related to informing students on the Spanish conquest of Latin America and getting them to weigh in on the controversy surrounding the "genocide" of the indigenous peoples and whether or not, or how, the Spanish conquistadores imposed their faith on the indígenas and how this affected today's faith/culture mix in the region and whether or not, or how, it had a negative effect on their culture.

For the second half of the unit, I'm having trouble deciding between two topics.
The one is more closely related to our first topic and so I'm leaning towards it, but the other is more current and relevant to Latinos in the U.S.

1) What ethics are involved in current Christian mission work in Latin America? Can this work continue and the indigenous cultures still be preserved? Should organizations be allowed to operate freely, or be tightly controlled, or be excluded from indigenous tribes entirely?

Sources:
El impacto fundamental de las nuevas tribus ha sido el etnocidio (Print)

El domingo vence plazo para salida de misiones Nuevas Tribus de Venezuela (Print)

Foro: Nuevas Tribus, ¿misión de Dios? (very nice audio source)

2) Evaluate the motives people have for loyalty for a particular denomination over another. What cultural shifts are enough to push a change in philosophy? How does a culture decide what philosophies or principles are "hills to die on" and what can be given up? What does a group do when a respected spiritual leader leaves their denomination, but remains in the spotlight?

Sources:

Fuertes críticas de padre Alberto a la Iglesia, en libro. (Print)

El padre Alberto lloró por su bebita (Print)

Padre Alberto Cutié via La W Radio (audio)

2 comments:

Bethanie said...

Another that comes to mind--that might presume a different faith bias from yours [soy cristiana evangélica]--is: as Christians who strive to follow Christ's example, what should our role in the current US immigration debate be? For example, in Chicago a couple of years ago, a church granted asylum to a mother who was to be deported who had a child who was born here. Also, read Enrique's Journey (there's a Spanish edition too) or show the Anderson Cooper episode covering the topic--what would Jesus have done in light of this situation?

Another way of phrasing all of this: what role does social justice in the current immigration climate play in our faith?

Food for thought... Now *I* want to teach this... ;)

Sra Cottrell said...

Ooh, good thoughts. Way to add to my dilemma. ;-) However two units from now our unit is on government and that sounds like a good topic for that one!

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