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LECTURE | Lived Religion in the Borderlands: Marginal Identities and Heterotopic Saints

Held in recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month 2018, the Hispanic-Latinx Center at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is excited to welcome Rev. Dr. Daisy L. Machado, professor of American religious history at Union Theological Seminary in New York, to present her lecture, “Lived Religion in the Borderlands: Marginal Identities and Heterotopic Saints,” on October 9, 2018, at 11:10 a.m. in Room 205.

The term “borderlands” is a multi-layered term used to describe much more than the U.S. Latinx border reality. Today’s borderlands don’t have to be geographically located in the southwestern U.S. and the 21st century Latinx borderlands are understood as places where culture, race, identity, and religion intersect in complicated and even violent ways. This lecture will examine what lived religion looks like in these borderlands with a focus on how religion crosses borders, in this case, how borderlands people bring with them beliefs in what some call pseudo-saints further complicating the practices of lived religion in marginal Latinx communities. One such “pseudo-saint” is Santa Muerte, an example of the “unorthodox religiosity” found in Mexico that has crossed the border into major U.S. cities and communities. We will look at the connections between marginality and belief as expressed in the veneration of this heterotopic saint, Santa Muerte.

Rev. Dr. Daisy L. Machado

Daisy L. Machado, a native of Cuba who grew up in NYC, is Professor of American Religious History at Union Theological Seminary, NYC, where she also served as Academic Dean, the first Latina to hold this position. Prior to this position she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY. Rev. Dr. Machado holds a B.A., Brooklyn College; a Master of Social Work, Hunter College School of Social Work; a Master of Divinity, Union Theological Seminary, New York; and a Ph.D., University of Chicago. She is also the first Latina ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Northeast Region (1981) having served a Latinx congregation in Brooklyn before moving to Texas to do the work of pastor developer helping to establish two new Disciples Latinx congregations, one in Houston and one in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Machado is currently director of the Hispanic Summer Program, the first woman to hold this position. The HSP is a national program of theological education for Latinx seminary students from around the country. The HSP’s program in June 2018 was its 29th consecutive session and was hosted by Perkins School of Theology, SMU in Dallas. Dr. Machado has also lectured in Venezuela, Mexico, and Germany, has keynoted at many seminaries across the country including Yale Divinity School, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Pacific School of Religion, Harvard Divinity School, has served as chaplain at the Chautauqua Institution and was also guest preacher at The Memorial Church, Harvard University.

October 9, 2018

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston , IL 60201

About the Hispanic-Latinx Center

Established in 1988, the Hispanic-Latinx Center seeks to bring Hispanic culture and experience into the life of the seminary and provide continuing education to the church. It strives to serve the needs of Hispanic and Latin American students, pastors, and churches. The office provides services to churches throughout the North Central Jurisdiction by recruiting students for ordained ministry and by training seminarians, pastors, and lay leaders for effective ministry in cross-cultural settings.

“Latinx” is a gender-neutral alternative to “Latino/Latina.” As a reflection of our quest for representing our base, the Center has had various names in its history: Hispanic Center, Hispanic Latino Center and Hispanic Latino(a) Latin American Center. Our community continues to grow, change and to learn new ways to come to terms with itself in all its glorious complexity. We believe the name "Hispanic-Latinx Center" connects us explicitly to our heritage while also communicating our desire to be an expansive, welcoming space.

For more information, contact Dr. Débora Junker, Director of the Hispanic-Latinx Center.