The Vitality of Liberation Theology

By Taneti, James Elisha | Currents in Theology and Mission, June 2013 | Go to article overview

The Vitality of Liberation Theology


Taneti, James Elisha, Currents in Theology and Mission


The Vitality of Liberation Theology. By Craig L. Nessan. Eugene, Ore.: Pickwick Publications, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-16109-7994-8. vii and 150 pages. Paper. $20.

The Latin American liberation theology is not a heritage site; it is rather a living movement with continued vitality. It midwifed emergence of similar liberationist theologies across the globe and impacted the theological enterprise in many significant ways. It is as relevant today as it was forty years ago.

Nessan organizes the above-mentioned argument in three parts. In the first three chapters, he locates the origins of the movement in the politico-historical context of Latin America and identifies its immediate theological contributories. This section ends with a quick but helpful survey of its history. By identifying the sources in both Catholic and Protestant traditions, Nessan subtly underlines the trans-confessional character of liberation theology.

The following three chapters introduce distinct features of liberation theology. Its hermeneutical lens, method, and locus distinguish liberation theology for its contemporaries. Nessan at the same time cautions us against blanket generalizations. The short section on the possible contribution of liberation theology to Lutheran tradition recognizes the initiatives taken in that direction and invites Lutheran communities to engage liberation theology in their articulation and practice of faith. …

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