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Spiritual Activism and Praxis: Assessing Gloria AnzaldĂșa's _Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro_

Gloria AnzaldĂșa (1942-2004) is one of most important cultural theorists of the past fifty years. Her work, especially her groundbreaking _Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza_ (1987), continues to animate many areas of scholarship, especially those concerned with cultural and linguistic hybridity, intersectionality, and women of color feminism. Only recently, however, have scholars begun to reckon with the importance of Anzaldua's understanding of spirituality. This paper offers a reflection on Anzaldua's recently published, posthumous work _Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality_ (2015), which offers her most explicit articulation of "spiritual activism." I argue that Anzaldua's occassional ontological appeals to spiritual realism should be offset by her more process-driven and pragmatic intuitions, which foreground the function and praxis of spirituality. Such a reading, I argue, is ultimately more consistent with Anzaldua's guiding interests in personal healing and social transformation.

Christopher Tirres
DePaul University
United States


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