Original Research

Words about God in the peripheral communities of Medellín

Jonathan A. Rúa Penagos, Iván D. Toro Jaramillo
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2072 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2072 | © 2020 Jonathan A. Rúa Penagos, Iván D. Toro Jaramillo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 November 2019 | Published: 17 June 2020

About the author(s)

Jonathan A. Rúa Penagos, Department of Theology, Philosophy and Humanities, Pontifical Bolivarian University, Medellín, Colombia
Iván D. Toro Jaramillo, Department of Theology, Philosophy and Humanities, Pontifical Bolivarian University, Medellín, Colombia


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Abstract

This article aims to analyse the ‘words about God’ in the five peripheral ecclesiastic communities of Medellín by using a hermeneutic and ethnographic method. The analysis comprises two phases: firstly, the population subject and object of study are characterised; secondly, the views and attributes of God that the subjects acquire from the religious experience are identified. It is concluded that most of the individuals involved in the study assume the existence of God, who is perceived as being personal, eternal, spiritual and supreme. The influence of a Trinitarian view of deity, which implies an act of trust, is evidenced in their statements. In this context, God is, above all, powerful: he acts and creates. In the subjects’ demonstration of their experiences, there are no conceptual differences in relation to how Christianity sees God. Although traditional languages are used to refer to the contents of their faith, the manner in which each aspect is understood and explained is not uncomplicated. This has an effect on ecclesiastic practices.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The outcome of this research project sets a relation amongst ecclesiology, pastoral and both systematic and contextual theology; it also establishes a dialogue where the actors of social and human science, such as the anthropology, feel identified in terms of the use of categories, techniques and data collection research instruments.


Keywords

God; creed; ecclesiastic communities; poverty; Medellín

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