A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation

by Gustavo Gutiérrez

Paperback, 1973





This is the credo and seminal text of the movement which was later characterized as liberation theology. The book burst upon the scene in the early seventies, and was swiftly acknowledged as a pioneering and prophetic approach to theology which famously made an option for the poor, placing the exploited, the alienated, and the economically wretched at the centre of a programme where "the oppressed and maimed and blind and lame" were prioritized at the expense of those who either maintained the status quo or who abused the structures of power for their own ends. This powerful, compassionate and radical book attracted criticism for daring to mix politics and religion in so explicit a manner, but was also welcomed by those who had the capacity to see that its agenda was nothing more nor less than to give "good news to the poor", and redeem God's people from bondage.… (more)


Orbis Books (1973), Edition: 1st Paperback Edition, 323 pages


½ (60 ratings; 3.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Hanuman2
Decent for its genre.
LibraryThing member fulner
I wanted to read this after Francis was elected Pope and people on both the left and the right claimed that Francis would be bade because of how he reacted to liberation theology during the social class struggle of the 70s/80s in Argentina. The right saying he too closely embraced it, the left
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saying he did not embrace it.

So what is it? Instead of letting other people tell me I figured I'd let them tell me themselves. Well let me tell you, this book is certainly written at a level intended for educational intellectuals and not for activists on the ground and parishioners in the pew. I'm not a dumb guy but most of this was way over my head. I was disappointed in the amount of citation that still didn't say anything.

The last two or three chapters probably could have been the whole book. As the author spends most of his time trying to prove that Jesus would be against capitalism because...insert some lofty intellectual reason here.

While I agree the class struggle is real, and I agree that the church cannot pretend it doesn't exist, shunning traditional values and theology to focus on overturning corporatism is not a solution. We should care for the poor, and we should love our neighbor ,that includes loving those who oppress us. Its not an excuse to do nothing, as the author insists. It is a direction to be careful and love.

Probably worth reading if you are interested in such topics, but it won't bring you closer to Christ nor bring those around you to the right hand of the Lord. I think those are more important and if we focus there a life of forgiveness and caring will happen.
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