Liberation Theology - How can we understand it?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by bound, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. bound

    bound
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    Understanding the Black Experience and the role the Christian Faith has played in their lives what role can Liberation Theology play in the wider Christian Experience?
     
  2. trustitl

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    Can we agree that this is what we are talking about:

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Liberation theology focuses on Jesus Christ as not only the Redeemer but also the Liberator of the oppressed.

    In essence, liberation theology explores the relationship between Christian, particularly Roman Catholic, theology and political activism, particularly in areas of social justice, poverty and human rights.


    I think this is a great topic and has far more impact on chrisitanity today than meets the eye.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    There is a sinful and violent element in mankind - in our sinful nature that is not confined to any class - any group - all have it.

    The process of "evangelism" inspires the downtrodden at the same time that it weakens the popularity and resolve among those "in power" to oppress others.

    At some point the faction "in power" is divided - is split enough on the subject that they no longer function with the same strength as at prior times.

    At the same time - the "overthrow" element (both good and bad) in the downtrodden begins to recognize weakness in the power structure and at some point - a kind of equilibrium is broached in the form of revolt, or peaceful elections depending on how wide the gap is before the oppressed "make their move".

    The "question" is whether christians should confine their efforts to the foundational work of evangelism of all sides -- or should they get involved in the protests and sometimes violent nature of the those transition periods.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    I can remember the time this 'theology' was at its initial height, and Juergen Moltmann was made its great apostle, and his book, 'Theologie der Hoffnung' its 'bible'. I recall how Moltmann tried to befriend Christianity and Judaism, and coupled the Sunday and the Sabbath in ecological truce. But I also saw how futile his attempts were because from the word go irreconcilable. I could never understand though, how his (to me weak) theological endeavours could be used for the sort of revolutionary 'Christianity' that is supposed in this thread. But politics has always been too intellectual for my IQ.
     
  5. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    GE
    This Easter weekend TV programs in South Africa brought the Resurrection under the spotlight, and all the 'religious clips' used to illustrate the "two billion"-strong memebership of "Christianity", were black American 'pentecostal' 'experiences'. Now I have nothing against a black man being a Christian or even the only Christian God knows who are His. But that 'Christianity' must be represented by such 'pentecostal' or 'charasmatic' 'worship' so virtually exclusively used in the various TV programs for what Christianity is and looks like, that dissappointed me greatly! And I thought, could it really be that there no longer is something like the old, sober and 'white' Christian worship so characteristic of Reformed Protestantism I have been used to?
     
  6. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    What I have said, in the light of the question, "Understanding the Black Experience and the role the Christian Faith has played in their lives what role can Liberation Theology play in the wider Christian Experience?" amounts to this: 'White' Christianity long since cannot afford to be paternalistic! It should begin to look after itself again.
     
    #6 Gerhard Ebersoehn, Mar 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2008
  7. bound

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    I guess the question I would ask is if God is Just should we as His Children seek Justice? If Justice requires us to seek the equality of all then are we called to seek that equity in the public sphere? This to me is the ground of "Liberal Theology".
     
  8. BobRyan

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    In Phil 2 we are told to consider others "above" ourselves.

    In the discourse of Matt 5 we are told to "turn the other cheek".

    But we can not "sign this into law".

    Under the Gospel all are equal - no division between male, female, gentile, greek, slave or free. All are to consider others as more important than themselves Phil 2 -- to love others as they love themselves.

    What we can do is convert people to Christianity so that they too will have this as their world view -- Gospel perspective.

    When we speak of liberation theology we mean "beyond evangeliziing and influencing believers -- what do we do to influence unbelievers while not converting them?".

    That is the basic question. Do Christians have an obligation to mold the actions of unblievers outside of the context of converting them to the Gospel?

    We see Christians doing that to some extent when they sign up to serve i in combat roles in the military or in law-enforcement.

    And Christians certainly do that when they vote or participate in the political process.

    The question for liberation theology is "how much MORE than that" should Christians be doing "outside of evangelism"?

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    BR:
    "Understanding the Black Experience "

    GE

    That's why I never could understand 'Liberation Theology'. The Gospel is liberation theology to indiscriminately black and white.

    From here, with me, nostalgia takes over, and blurs the mind.
     
  10. Matt Black

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    If I may be permitted to quote from an article I wrote a few years ago:



    [1] John Gillman, “Poverty, Riches and the Challenge of Discipleship”, in The Bible Today, Vol 35. Number 6, November/ December 1997, p. 358

    [2] Phillip Berryman, “Liberation Theology”, pp. 4-6.
     
    #10 Matt Black, Mar 25, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2008
  11. Matt Black

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    (Continued)

    [1] Boff and Boff, “Salvation and Liberation”, p.48

    [2] Leonardo Boff, “Church: Charism and Power”, p.1.

    [3] Kammer, ‘Ethics and Liberation’, p. 3

    [4] Berryman, op. cit., pp. 57-58.

    [5] Dom Helder Camara, “The Desert is Fertile”, p.41
     
  12. Matt Black

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    (Continued)


    [1] Kammer, op. cit, pp. 143-144

    [2] Kammer, op. cit, pp. 145,149

    [3] J. David Turner, “Introduction to Liberation Theology”, p.63

    [4] Gutierrez, “Speaking about God” as reported in Concilium 171, p.28

    [5] Hermeneutics is the method of scriptural interpretation whereby, having ascertained what a particular passage of the Bible would have originally meant, scholars then try to apply that meaning to a modern context

    [6] Gutierrez, “Liberation Praxis and Christian Faith” as reported in Frontiers of Theology in Latin America, p.19
     
  13. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    A very apt article!

    Can my question be answered, since when is 'European' equivalent of rich, and 'poor' identical with non-white alias non-European? That is "my pot se deksel" as we say in Afrikaans - the lid on my pot.
     
  14. Matt Black

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    I then went on to give a critical review of what I in that article called 'The Left-wing' (in theological, social, economic and political terms, in contrast to the 'Right-wing', the extreme point of which was for me represented by the Word of Faith Prosperity Gospellers):



    [1] Ecclesiology is the branch of theology that seeks to explore and define the nature of the Church

    [2] Leonardo Boff’s book, “Church: Charism and Power” has this last point as a major theme.
     
  15. Matt Black

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    (continued)
    [1] This balancing act is a strand running throughout “Evangelism and Social Action”.

    [2] Kammer, op.cit. pp.145-146.

    [3] J. David Turner, “An Introduction to Liberation Theology”, p.96.
     
  16. Matt Black

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    (continued)

    [1] Ratzinger, “Instruction on Certain Aspects of the Theology of Liberation”, August 1984. This excerpt from the letter also coincidentally sets out Ratzinger’s view on the evangelism v. social action dilemma of the social Gospellers like Sider. Ratzinger is now of course Pope Benedict XVI

    [2] Kammer, op. cit., pp. 150-151

    [3] Segundo, “The Liberation of Theology”, p.3
     
  17. Matt Black

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    (continued)


    [1] Kammer, op. cit., p.153

    [2] Ibid, pp. 156-157

    [3] Ibid, p.165
     
  18. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    Can you give us more of this, Matt? Edit: the posts arrived almost simultaneously -- thanks!
     
  19. Matt Black

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    No worries! Believe it or not, I have edited out quite a bit of text in the middle of the piece where I refer to the likes of Tony Campolo, Ron Sider and the Social Gospel movement.
     
  20. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    overgeset synde .... if I may summarise these statements in the language of the 'peasant': 'Liberation theology' has become a social political issue between the 'Old' and the 'New Worlds' by which is attempted to unnerve the 'Old' and give him a guilty conscience as possible for having done nothing, right or wrong.
     

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