OSU Debate: Did religion help or hurt Latin America?

By Oregon State Socratic Club
Oregon State University Student Club

The Socratic Club at OSU will sponsor a debate on the topic, “The Influence of Christianity on Latin America: Beneficial or Destructive?” on Monday, January 23, in Milam Auditorium (Milam 26) on the OSU campus, at 7:30 p.m. The speakers are Joseph Orosco (Philosophy) and Nicole von Germeten (History).

The influence of Christianity on Latin American life and culture has long been hotly debated.

The names of conquistidors like Pizarro and Cortes have become synonymous with the brutality of Spanish imperialism. But missionaries like Bartolome de las Casas and bishops like Samuel Ruiz Garcia have drawn attention for their efforts to defend human rights, especially of the Amerindians. Latin American history has become a battleground for historians’ disputes over the influence of Christianity on native cultures. Two experts will debate the issue. Dr. von Germeten will argue that Christianity exercised a positive influence on Latin American culture, while

Dr. Orosco will argue that it had a negative effect.

Nicole von Germeten teaches Latin American history at OSU. She received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of “Black Blood Brothers,” which describes the social and religious life of Africans in Mexico; and of a translation of Alonso de Sandoval’s 1627 guide for missionaries working with African slaves in colonial Colombia.
Prof. von Germeten was affiliated with the Stanford University Center for Latin American Studies in 2008 and 2009.

Joseph Orosco received his Ph.D and M.A in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside. He teaches classes in Latin American thought, with an emphasis on Mexican culture, history, and immigration to the United States. He is director of the Peace Studies program at OSU and serves as a faculty advisor to the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez . He is the author of “Cesar Chavez and the Common Sense of Nonviolence.”

The debate is free and open to the public. For more information visit the OSU Socratic Club online at https://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic/

The OSU Socratic is celebrating its tenth anniversary as a student organization at Oregon State. It sponsors 5-6 debates each year on subjects at the intersection of the Christian faith and contemporary culture. All debates are filmed and many of them are available on You Tube. See https://www.youtube.com/user/orstsocraticclub

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