In previous columns, we have been considering the need and possibility of a Latin-American Adventist cultural reframing, based on categories such as “Gullibility”, “Disorder”, “Feasting” and “Laziness”. These particular and atypical categories are the cultural expressions of some more classical theological topics such as Rationality, Ethics, Space and Time. However, the Latin-American cultural contribution to Adventism through these categories would be incomplete and unilateral if we stopped here. Because so far only a “centripetal” perspective has been considered, that is, from the perspective of “others coming to us”. No cultural or theological project would be organic and balanced if we don’t add to this a “centrifugal” perspective, i.e. the perspective of “us going to others”. And we will try to articulate this “centrifugal” cultural dimension through the categories of “translation” and “hybridity”.
Let’s tackle, in this column, the category of “translation”. Being a mixed-culture, Latin-America has always been accustomed to translation since the very beginning of its history. But there is a second kind of translation. That of “outside-in” and “inside-out”. Outside-in represents the effort to be part of the broader international cultural scene by incorporating, into our own language, what others have produced elsewhere. We Latin-Americans have done this since the 16th century. We have imported, through numberless cultural translations, almost all the ideas, categories, initiatives and proposals that the Western world has produced in these past five centuries. But we will remain unaware of what “to translate” really means if we don’t also add, to this first type of translation, the challenge that “inside-out” implies and represents.
Paradox - Process - Heritage - Temptation - Inside-out
But a paradox emerges, because the long and suffered process of discovering our own precious cultural heritage risks the seductive temptation to postpone, and even avoid the “inside-out” translation, by considering it simply insignificant and thus unnecessary. But what we would then superficially...
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