A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation 50th Anniversary Edition with New Introduction by Michael E. Lee
By: Gustavo Gutierrez
“It would be difficult to name another theological book these past five decades that has been more influential, has inspired more believers and non-believers alike to think differently about the Christian faith, and has engendered so much controversy.” So begins Michael E. Lee’s introduction to this 50th anniversary edition of the classic work that signaled a new style of doing theology.
The theological project launched in this book was, as Fr. Gutiérrez wrote, “based on the gospel and the experiences of men and women committed to the process of liberation in the oppressed land of Latin America.” It was “born of the experience of shared efforts to abolish the current unjust situation and to build a different society, freer and more human.” Yet its influence was quickly felt around the world, inspiring numerous offshoots, as well as provoking critical reactions, both inside and outside the Church.
A Theology of Liberation has won wide acclaim as one of the most influential works of Christian theology of the last century. Yet Gutiérrez himself concluded the book by noting that any theology of liberation “is not worth one act of genuine solidarity with exploited social classes. They are not worth one act of faith, love, and hope committed . . . in active participation to liberate humankind from everything that dehumanizes it and prevents it from living according to the will of God.”
Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP, a native of Peru, was educated in Lima, Chile, and at the Catholic University of Louvain. Professor emeritus of theology, University of Notre Dame, he has served as a principal professor, Pontifical University of Peru, and has taught at many universities throughout North America and Europe. His many books include On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent, The Power of the Poor in History, We Drink from Our Own Wells, The Truth Shall Make You Free, The God of Life, and The Density of the Present. Among many other honors, he has received over 25 honorary doctorates, Spain’s Prince of Asturias award, and membership in the Peruvian Academy of Language, the French Legion of Honor, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Cover photo: Joseph Vail, MM; sculpture by Peruvian artist Edilberto Merida
Cover design: Ponie Sheehan
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