“If there is no friendship with them [the
poor] and no sharing of the life of the
poor, then there is no authentic
commitment to liberation, because love
exists only among equals.” ― Gustavo
Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation
A school of thought that explores the
relationship between Christian theology and
Methodology – to do theology (speak of God)
Focuses on Jesus as not only
Saviour but also as Liberator.
As a bringer of justice
A theology, not the political movement
A coherent set of religious ideas
Promoting liberation from
injustice and oppression
Basis – The Bible
Interpret Scripture through the
plight of the poor
Started in South America in the 1950s
When Marxism was making great
gains among the poor because of its
emphasis on the redistribution of wealth.
Bolstered in 1968 at the Second
Latin American Bishops Conference, in
To study the Bible and to fight for
social justice in Christian (Catholic)
The church should derive its
legitimacy and theology by growing out
of the poor.
The church should be a movement
for those who were denied their rights
and plunged into such poverty.
The FATHER of
Born: June 8, 1928 in
Studied medicine and
humanities in Peru
Went on to Leuven to study philosophy
and psychology, and received his
doctorate in Lyon.
In 1959 – ordained a priest in the Catholic
In his youth, he has osteomyelitis.
This left him bed-ridden for most of his
adolescence and forced him to use a wheel
chair from the ages of 12 to 18.
Experienced and observed a world of
injustice and inequality, a systematic
oppression of the poor.
Gutierrez’s theology has led the
way for other liberation theologians,
and much to his credit advocacy for the
poor and providing a voice for the
voiceless has become commonplace.
TWO SPECIFIC BELIEFS
1) God loves all persons
equally and gratuitously;
2) God loves the poor
Forms of Poverty
1) material poverty;
2) spiritual poverty; and
3) voluntary poverty
The poor person is someone who
is treated as a non-person, someone
who is considered insignificant from an
economic, political and cultural point
“one is poor” or “poor in Spirit”.
Radical openness to the will of God,
Radical faith in a providential God, and
Radical trust in a loving God.
A conscious protest against
injustice by choosing to live together
with those who are materially poor.
Inspiration – life of Jesus
1) political liberation;
2) psychological or
3) liberation from sin
Political liberation – the transformation
of unjust social structures, elimination of
immediate causes of poverty and
Liberation encompasses freeing the
individual from “those things that limit
the capacity to develop themselves freely
and in dignity.”
Freedom from sin and selfishness
1) social and
2) human level; and
3) salvific level
SOCIAL & POLITICAL LEVEL
Liberation is an expression of
aspirations of the oppressed classes and
Liberation is conceived as a
historical process in which people
develop consciously their own destiny
through the social changes.
Liberation from sin
Brings man back into
communion with God and fellow
men, which is the radical, total
Theology is not just to be learned, it is
to be done.
“praxis“ – the starting point for
Praxis – from the Greek word prasso
means "to work“.
Praxis must always be the first
stage in the theological process.
The Use of Violence
Violence is not considered sinful
if it is used for resisting oppression.
Bringing about the kingdom of God
A new social order where there will
be equality for all.
Not to deny eternal life, but it is to
emphasize that the eternal and the
BASIS: ROMANS 10:9
“IF YOU DECLARE WITH YOUR
MOUTH, “JESUS IS LORD,” & BELIEVE IN
YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM
THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED.”
MAN BELIEVE SAVED
Common Denominator: Believe
history and eternity are two
parallel (nonintersecting) realms
past Present, future,…
The mission of the church seems
to be more important than its nature.
No longer “quantitative”
Rather, "at all times to protest
against injustice, to challenge what is
inhuman, to side with the poor and
Liberationists claim the orthodox
view of God
– a static being
– distant and remote from human
God is not impassive
He is dynamically involved in
behalf of the poor and downtrodden.
Stands against oppression and
Those who follow Him must do
Failure of Marxist-socialist regimes
Failure of capitalism
Capitalism favours the privileged
Socialism, in practice, repression
1. People's basic needs will be met;
2. Ordinary people will be active
in building a new society; and
3. What is created will be a new Latin
America, not a copy of old socialist
SOCIALISM ARE FAR MORE
APPARENT IN THEORY
THAN IN PRACTICE.
INDEED, GUTIERREZ SAYS THAT
"TO KNOW GOD IS
TO DO JUSTICE."