Paulo Freire: Liberation Theology

Liberation theologyIn the mass media, 'Liberation Theology' can sometimes be used loosely, to refer to a wide variety of activist Christian thought. In this article the term will be used in the narrow sense outlined here. is a movement in Christian theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. It has been described by proponents as "an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor's suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor",Berryman, Phillip, Liberation Theology: essential facts about the revolutionary movement in Latin America and beyond(1987) and by detractors as Christianity influenced by Marxism and Communism."David Horowitz first describes liberation theology as 'a form of Marxised Christianity,' which has validity despite the awkward phrasing, but then he calls it a form of 'Marxist-Leninist ideology,' which is simply not true for most liberation theology..." Robert Shaffer, "Acceptable Bounds of Academic Discourse," Organization of American Historians Newsletter 35, November, 2007. URL retrieved 12 July 2010.

Although liberation theology has grown into an international and inter-denominational movement, it began as a movement within the Roman Catholic church in Latin America in the 1950s?1960s. Liberation theology arose principally as a moral reaction to the poverty caused by social injustice in that region. The term was coined in 1971 by the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, who wrote one of the movement's most famous books, A Theology of Liberation. Other noted exponents are Leonardo Boff of Brazil, Jon Sobrino of El Salvador, and Juan Luis Segundo of Uruguay.Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism (Harper Collins, 1994), chapter IV.Liberation Theology General Information, on Believe, an online religious information sourceGustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation, First (Spanish) edition published in Lima, Peru, 1971; first English edition published by Orbis Books (Maryknoll, New York), 1973.

The influence of liberation theology diminished after proponents using Marxist concepts were admonished by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 1984 and 1986. The Vatican criticized certain strains of Liberation Theology for focusing on institutional dimensions of sin to the exclusion of the individual; and for allegedly misidentifying the church hierarchy as members of the privileged class.Wojda, Paul J., "Liberation theology", in R.P. McBrien, ed., The Catholic Encyclopedia (Harper Collins, 1995).


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger