Liberation theology


The entrance of the community building serves as a reminder and commemoration of the work and life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, Colonia Dolores, San Salvador, El Salvador.

Liberation theology (Spanish: Teología de la liberación, Portuguese: Teologia da libertação) is a synthesis of Christian theology and socio-economic analyses, that emphasizes ‘social concern for the poor and political liberation for oppressed peoples.’ Beginning in the 1960s after the Second Vatican Council, liberation theology became the political praxis of Latin American theologians such as Gustavo Gutiérrez, Leonardo Boff, and Jesuits Juan Luis Segundo, and Jon Sobrino, who popularized the phrase ‘preferential option for the poor.’ This expression was used first by Jesuit Fr. General Pedro Arrupe in 1968 and soon after this the World Synod of Catholic Bishops in 1971 chose as its theme ‘Justice in the World’. The Latin American context produced evangelical advocates of liberation theology, such as Rubem Alves, José Míguez Bonino, and C. René Padilla, who in the 1970s called for integral mission, emphasizing evangelism and social responsibility. Theologies of liberation have developed in other parts of the world such as black theology in the United States and South Africa, Palestinian liberation theology, Dalit theology in India, and Minjung theology in South Korea. The best-known form of liberation theology is that which developed within the Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1960s, arising principally as a moral reaction to the poverty and social injustice in the region. The term was coined in 1971 by the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, who wrote one of the movement’s defining books, A Theology of Liberation. Other noted exponents include Leonardo Boff of Brazil, and Jesuits Jon Sobrino of El Salvador and Juan Luis Segundo of Uruguay. … After the Second Vatican Council, CELAM held two conferences which were important in determining the future of liberation theology: the first was held in Medellín, Colombia, in 1968, and the second in Puebla, Mexico, in January 1979. The Medellín conference debated how to apply the teachings of Vatican II to Latin America, and its conclusions were strongly influenced by liberation theology, which grew out of these officially recognized ideas. While the Medellín document is not a liberation theology document, it laid the groundwork and since then liberation theology has developed rapidly in the Latin American Catholic Church. …”
Wikipedia, W – Option for the poor
Jacobin: The Left Side of the Church
The Legacy of Liberation Theology


A mural depicting Óscar Romero in San Francisco’s Balmy Alley.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Books, Religion and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s