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Liberation Theology

Please use WIKIPEDIA to answer the questions. Search for Liberation Theology.
1. What are the key points made in this brief summary on Gustavo Gutierrez?
2. How does his perspective match up with how American churches see the poor?
3. Based on the information provided in the wikipedia material listed above, how has the Catholic Church responded to this movement to assist the poor in developing nations?

Search Wikipedia for Liberation under the headings:
1 Overview
2 History: CELAM, Lopez, liberation and the Vatican
3 Reaction within the Church
4 Liberation Theology in practice
5 Liberation theologians
6 Others influenced by liberation theology
7 References

The Wikipedia article is attached.


Solution Preview

I hope this is what you're looking for. The second question is not addressed in the Wikipedia article on Liberation Theology, so I had to go elsewhere on Wikipedia.

1. What are the key points made in this brief summary on Gustavo Gutierrez?

The mix here is between the Gospel and an interest in changing unjust social relations. Gutierrez stresses that the Incarnation freed mankind from sin. This does not release the Christian, however, from working out this liberation in the social arena. Inequality and injustice are sins that need to be removed like any other.
There can be no question that the Old Testament prophets preached vehemently against inequality in economics and political power, so Gutierrez was on solid theological ground in that respect.

The Incarnation (that is, God becoming man in Christ) is a historical task, not just an event. Humanity must "realize" God in the world through the destruction of inequality and other social evils that leave people dis-empowered, people in the millions. This is the central point. God is "realized" in history to the extent that injustice is destroyed. In a society that is dedicated to greed and class domination, God is not discernible there. God becomes more "visible" in society only to the extent that social evils like class rule and inequality are removed.

Gutierrez coined the phrase "preferential option for the poor." This has become part of mainline Catholic teaching. It means that social virtues are measured relative to how society treats the poor. It also means that, in the New Testament, Christ clearly chose the poor and needy to spend the bulk of his time with. Christ went to the poor and dis-inherited, not the elite in society. Christ condemned the elite in his own society and therefore, modern Catholics should do the same. When man is judged by God, much of this judgment will have to do with what one has done to alleviate the poverty in society and the world. Social and religious policy should put the weakest members of society first.

To know God is to do righteous deeds. ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines liberation theology.