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Protestante Digital


No Dominican evangelical literature

Over 95% of the books published in our country are by foreign authors.

Foto: [link]Kate Bezzubets[/link], Unsplash, CC0.

The literature produced by evangelical Christians in the Dominican Republic (Caribbean) is so little that it could be said to be non-existent.

There are no indications so far about an emerging movement that could facilitate the beginning of a significant literary production.

Although we have a number of bookshops and various Christian authors who publish books by themselves, over 95% of the titles on offer here are by foreign authors.

Major publishing houses have facilitated the production of a growing literary industry but we Dominican evangelicals are passive consumers.

Literary production among evangelicals is domestic, personal and does not have a wide distribution or public demand.

But we should start writing our own history. We have to start appreciating the written testimony, to multiply it, to preserve it. Out times demands it.

Up to now we could define ourselves as an oral society. We depend too much on human memory, on the repeated narrative that is passed down through the generations.

If we examine ourselves by our production of literature, Dominican evangelicals are an oral culture.

Sociologists typify this as a "closed culture". Firstly, these cultures have little chance of interacting with the thinking of those who do not live close to them. Secondly, new ideas and complex thoughts find little place in such cultures, because they are difficult to remember and almost impossible to pass on to a significant number of people.

Experts say that in this kind of society change is slow because its citizens tend to hold on to what they already have and what they are.

[destacate]If we examine ourselves by our production of literature, Dominican evangelicals are an oral culture [/destacate] Their cultural survival strongly depends on memorising what is already known, already said and already done. This prevents the encouragement of creativity and innovation.

It would be interesting to analyse why, if we have biblical and theological institutes and seminaries, and even an evangelical university (the Universidad Nacional Evangélica), literature production is so scarce and limited.

The Dominican evangelical reality should be addressed and analysed from our own shores, without having to totally depend on foreign literature, which in general terms, it needs to be said, is very good and edifying.

We should expect that the evangelical councils, the theological seminaries, the National Evangelical University, and all other evangelical bodies begin to be concerned about this serious situation.

It is true that the first generation of evangelicals were social outcasts and lacked academic and intellectual training, but the current generation has a large number of professionals and many institutions committed to the development of thought and all the facilities provided by computers. So the question is: why don't we even have an incipient literary production?

In our country, there has not been an important movement to bring together and promote local literature. It is difficult to sell books produced by local authors. The release of a book among evangelicals does not reach the level of importance and interest that turns the event into a celebration.

[destacate]The release of a book among evangelicals does not reach the level of importance and interest that turns the event into a celebration [/destacate] Formal theological education in seminaries and Bible institutes is still oriented towards the training of preachers. Homiletics is one of the most rigorously taught. But in the vast majority of educational programs there are no subjects related to the development of literary competencies of the students.

I believe that this is one of the issues that we Dominican evangelicals must pray about and put on the agenda in order to start a process with the aim of continuing to expand the Kingdom of God.

Tomás Gómez Bueno is a theologian, author, and pastor of a church in the Dominican Republic.


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