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Theology of Liberation

November 18, 2010

I recently had the honor and privilege of hearing Gustavo Gutierrez, author of A Theology of Liberation, speak. This year marks 40 years since A Theology of Liberation was written. The book is a significant one in Latin America and the world, changing the perspective of theology by teaching us to read scripture through the eyes of the poor. Gutierrez discussed the premise of Liberation Theology and his thoughts on forty years of theology. Here are a few things he said:

  • Any theology is contextual. Some theologies recognize their context, others do not
  • Poverty is a result of our hands
  • Poverty can’t be reduced to an economic state
  • A (the?) significant question to ask: “How do you say to the poor person, “God loves you”? “
  • Theology is a reflection of practice in the light of the word of God
  • Theology is meant to help announce the gospel, the Bible doesn’t say “go into the world to do theology”
  • Liberation: 1. Hebrew/Greek words for salvation   2. A word strongly sought after in Latin America at the time
  • The poor condition is not the will of God
  • Be ready to give reason of our hope
  • Today is the end of history
  • See the kingdom as the preferential option for the poor. Remember the universality of the love of God.
  • Gutierrez has changed and grown since writing the original Theology of Liberation. He described writing theology as writing love letters. Each letter is different, but the love is the same.

You can view the video of his lecture here.

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