The author proposes that while the Hispanic theologian must be an intimate participant and protagonist in his or her community, s/he is also called to maintain keep a necessary critical distance in relation to their living, active participation. Ultimately, theologians must ply their craft from within the lived religiosity of their communities. This means being a sensitive interpreter of the metaphors and symbols that communicate the community’s experience of the sacred. This role of poet-participant finds its best expression in the prophetic mission and identity of the theologian, who looks at his /her vulnerable, powerless, violence-stricken community through the surplus-giving symbol of the face, and seizing its nakedness and brokenness in an act of vulnerable intuition, dares to look into the deepest recesses of mystery and being, and somehow see in these depths the face of a suffering God.
Sixto J. García, "Hispanic Theologians as Actors, Poets and Prophets of Their Communities" Journal of Hispanic / Latino Theology, 6:4 (May 1999) 5-18.