“Traditioning” refers to the whole process by which the Christian faith is passed along from generation to generation. At the core of this faith is the claim that God has begun to transform the world on the basis of God’s universal compassion. This was the core message of the Galilean Jewish peasant who stands at the dawn of Christianity. But was this peasant right? Many Christians have bet their lives on the hope that he was right, and such fiercely subversive hope is the necessary core of Christianity. Yet, as Orlando Espín shows, the custodians of this hope are not principally the custodians of doctrine. In fact, he is critical of Christianity’s historical inclination to “doctrinify” the subversive hope of Jesus. Instead, building on his previous work on popular Catholicism, he looks to the role of those on the margins, the “disposables,” as faithful keepers and “traditioners” of the Christian message.
Orlando O Espín is Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of San Diego and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino/a Catholicism. He has twice served as president of ACHTUS (the Association of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the U.S.) and served as first editor of the Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology. He has written and edited several books, including The Faith of the People: Theological Reflections on Popular Catholicism, Grace and Humanness, and (with Míguel Díaz), From the Heart of Our People: Latino/a Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology.