Liberation Theology

liberation theology, belief that the Christian Gospel demands "a preferential option for the poor," and that the church should be involved in the struggle for economic and political justice in the contemporary world—particularly in the Third World. Dating to the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) and the Second Latin American Bishops Conference, held in Medellin, Colombia (1968), the movement brought poor people together in comunidades de base, or Christian-based communities, to study the Bible and to fight for social justice. Since the 1980s, the church hierarchy has criticized liberation theology and its advocates, accusing them of wrongly supporting violent revolution and Marxist class struggle.

See studies by P. Berryman (1987), A. Hennelly (1989), and J. R. Pottenger (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Latin American Liberation Theology
David Tombs.
Brill, 2002
Liberation Theologies in the United States: An Introduction
Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas; Anthony B. Pinn.
New York University Press, 2010
Introducing Liberation Theology
Leonardo Boff; Clodovis Boff; Paul Burns.
Orbis, 1987
The Queer God: Sexuality and Liberation Theology
Marcella Althaus-Reid.
Routledge, 2003
Liberation Theology
Irwin, Kevin W.
Theological Studies, Vol. 55, No. 4, December 1994
Method in Liberation Theologies
Phan, Peter C.
Theological Studies, Vol. 61, No. 1, March 2000
Opting for the Margins: Postmodernity and Liberation in Christian Theology
Joerg Rieger.
Oxford University Press, 2003
Liberation Theology after the End of History: The Refusal to Cease Suffering
Daniel M. Bell Jr.
Routledge, 2001
Black Liberation Theology and Black Catholics: A Critical Conversation
Cone, James H.
Theological Studies, Vol. 61, No. 4, December 2000
Whatever Happened to Liberation Theology? New Directions for Theological Reflection in Latin America
Kater, John L., Jr.
Anglican Theological Review, Vol. 83, No. 4, Fall 2001
Liberation Theology: Human Hope Confronts Christian History and American Power
Rosemary Radford Ruether.
Paulist Press, 1972
Old Wine in New Bottles: Liberation Theology and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict *
Gregerman, Adam.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol. 41, No. 3-4, Summer-Fall 2004
The Church at the Grassroots in Latin America: Perspectives on Thirty Years of Activism
John Burdick; W. E. Hewitt.
Praeger Publishers, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Liberation Theology and the Liberation of Women in Santo Antonio, Brazil"
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