In this blog post, we are dealing with what is Liberation theology. If you want to know it, then this is the right post for you. We discuss briefly Liberation Theology here.
Liberation theology is a Christian Theology. Liberation theology is the teachings of Jesus Christ, where we can understand in terms of liberation from unjust political, economic, or social conditions. In the 60s a new social and intellectual movement appeared in the Latin American continent.
The movement is rooted in the Christian faith and scriptures; and seeks its ideological superstructure based on the religious reflection in close association with the church organization. This is any social situation of oppression for the entire Third World.
The need for Liberation Theology
We cannot expect science and technology to solve our problems and answer our questions about the meaning of life. They are marvelous tools for understanding and dealing with the material world; but tell us little or nothing about why it exists and how we should live in it.
To answer those questions we need a vision, a transcendent understanding of ourselves that goes beyond the present moment and material world.
The emergence of Liberation theology
The diffuse movement we monolithically call liberation theology was born in Latin America in the late 1960s. In 1968 the Bishops of Latin America assembled in Medellin, Colombia to develop a pastoral strategy for implementing Vatican II in their continent.
The document they issued and shaped by theologians like Gutierrez and Segundi; called for a radical transformation of the Latin American church; along with the sociopolitical structures of the continent.
After Medallion Gustavo Gutierrez published, A Theology of Liberation in which he insisted Christians must commit themselves to the liberation of the poor and oppressed. It differs from previous systematic expressions of the faith; it seeks to interpret the Christian faith from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed.
The Liberation theology emerges as a result of a systematic, disciplined reflection on the Christian faith and its implications. The theologians who formulated liberation usually do not teach in universities and seminaries. They are a small group of catholic or protestant clergy and have direct contact with the grassroots groups as advisors to priests, sisters or pastors.
Social and Religious Roots of Liberation Theology
The theology of Liberation, though explicitly mentioned for the first time in 1968; in a speech by a Peruvian theologian delivered in the fishing port of Chimbote. It has roots in religious and social movements that swept the Latin American continent in the 50s; Where the Catholic Bishops were concerned with the increasing influence of protestant missionaries.
The growing secularization of the population and the spreading of communist ideas; [these were topics of the First plenary meeting of CELAM–Latin American Bishops Conference –in 1955 in Rio Janeiro). Church problems were aggravated by the lack of clergy to serve poor people in the country; and the visible complicity of the church with an unjust social order.
In Brazil, presents became militant, and the radicalized middle-class people went to work directly with the poor. A Brazilian educator; Paulo Freire developed a new method for teaching literacy to the masses of peasants through the process of ‘conscientization” consciousness–rising.
Moreover, all these movements and problems arose directly from the conditions of abject poverty; How 70 percentage of the population lived in a socio-economic analysis of the structure of Latin American society; Some Christians and missionaries utilized Marxist tools without, of course, embracing the philosophy of dialectical materialism.
The concern of Liberation Theology
The concern of Liberation Theology can be classified in the following proportions:
- Firstly, An interpretation of the Christian faith is out of suffering, struggle, and hope of the poor.
- Secondly, It is sustaining the ideologies and a critique of society.
- Thirdly, This is the Church activity’s critique and the angle of the poor of Christians.
We face enormous problems within society. Some theologians realized that the normal theology concerned with religious dogma; and abstract religious concepts lost any relevance.
It became abstract speculation far away from the first spirit of the gospel message and out of touch with the actual world. On the social level, it served the rich. They realized that if one really cared for and believed within the Christian ideals.
But one had to answer the question; the way to be a Christian during a concrete historical situation? The essential concern in Latin America shifted thus from ‘whether one can believe what Christianity affirms to what relevance Christianity has in the struggle for a more just world’.
Out of such consideration was born ‘liberation Theology; outlined for the first time by a Peruvian Theologian Gustavo Gutierrez a few weeks before the Medellin conference. Gutierrez defined theology as a’ critical reflection on praxis in the light of the word of God.
Liberation Theology has two basic principles. Firstly, it recognizes a need for liberation from any kind of oppression- political, economic, social, sexual, racial, and religious.
Secondly, it asserts that the theology must grow out of personal faith the basic Christian communities and should not be imposed from above, that is, from the infallible sourcebook or from the magisterial of an infallible church.
Jesus Christ the Liberator
The identification of Jesus shows in the oppressed and the despised. Jesus’ dedication is a result in trade through appearing out the values of the religion of God. He is the primary perception of liberation theology.
And the same time as liberation theologians does not outright deny Christ’s deity. There may be no clear-cut, unambiguous confession that Jesus is God. The significance of Jesus Christ lies in his example of struggling for the bad and the outcast.
The incarnation is reinterpreted to represent God’s total immersion into man’s history of warfare and oppression. By using his words and moves, Jesus showed us how to grow to be actual sons of God – that is, by using bringing in the kingdom of god through actively pursuing the liberation of the oppressed.
The evaluation of the social situation via involved church employees results in the formulation of a social concept; and offers a device for liberation theology.
Moreover, the social idea turns into dialectical if it envisions the possibility of a systematic change. Liberation theology too opts for the social changes with the lifestyles behavior of Jesus Christ. It incorporates all of the social aspects as properly.