Pensando en traducciones/Thinking about translations

In June the Summer Language Program at HDS began again, and I entered with high hopes of becoming an exceptional Spanish translator by the end of the term. Bringing with me enough spoken Spanish to communicate reasonably well, I was looking forward to spending time with the work of theologians like Gustavo Gutiérrez, Jon Sobrino, and Ada María Isasi Díaz, and I have enjoyed grappling with the writing of great poets from Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to Pablo Neruda. Taking the course has been a great gift for me in that it is helping me connect with the Bolivian side of my bicultural roots, and I have been reflecting on the implications of this identity for my life as a minister and an academic this summer. When it comes down to it, I have often felt that two worlds come together in my person, at some times colliding and complementing one another at others. This gives rise to a need to translate aspects of the world that fits less with the experience of those around me, whichever world they might represent.

But last Friday evening in class, as I was listening to the presentations of my classmates, I realized that this is not the only area of my life in which translation of a sort is necessary. I have come to realize that much of the past two years of working on this book project has been spent translating what it means to be young and be a woman for a Church whose hierarchy is made up of folks who are aging and drawing on an experience of maleness that Kate and I don’t have access to. Despite the apparent differences between these experiences of life, there is much common ground to be shared and to be mined in moving forward as a community of faith. I hope this book is a step in the process of seeking that out, of starting a dialogue between generations and genders that will strengthen our Church as we continue to define together what it means to be Catholic.

En paz y esperanza,

Jen

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