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Liberation Theology after the End of History: The refusal to cease suffering (Routledge Radical Orthodoxy)

1 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0415243049
ISBN-10: 0415243041
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is an important entry into a major debate and even those who disagree with Bell will not be able to ignore his argument."
-William T. Cavanaugh, University of St. Thomas
"This enterprising new book offers a vision of Christian resources for resistance to capitalism.
A brief summary cannot do justice to the wealth of insight and creativity that distinguishes this work."
-Paul Lakeland, Fairfield University "Religious Studies Review, October 2002

About the Author

Daniel M. Bell, Jr. is Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He has previously published articles on Latin American liberation theology in Communio, Modern Theology, Journal for Peace & Justice Studies, and Journal of Religion and Society.
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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Radical Orthodoxy
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (October 14, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415243041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415243049
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,072,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Daniel Bell's book “Liberation Theology after the End of History: The Refusal to Cease Suffering” is a difficult book to comprehensively review, since it covers a lot of philosophical and theological ground. Bell is a Lutheran, but sounds like a Catholic and supports the Radical Orthodoxy current within the Anglican Communion. He mobilizes Bernhard de Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucalt to bolster his case. And, I suppose, John Milbank. Let me also say already at the outset that I disagree with Bell, in fact, “disagreement” is too weak a word. Bell is something as amazing as a stereotyped hypocritical black-coat telling the poor and the oppressed to stop their resistance against the oppressors, until the Second Coming, when the oppressors will be…forgiven by God! And this in a book published in 2001! If this is the much-vaunted social and political program of Radical Orthodoxy, I'll rather take my chances with some colour revolution. A slightly “pink” one, perhaps?

Bell's book is to a large extent a criticism of liberation theology, a leftist and Marxist-inspired form of Catholic theology (although one the Catholic hierarchy opposes), popular in Latin America. Although Bell is actually more conservative than the liberation theologians, he constantly attempts to portray himself as more “radical” and “anti-capitalist”. Bell doesn't believe that liberation theology can effectively challenge capitalism, but his alternative isn't socialism or even social liberalism. Rather, he sees the Church polity as a political and social formation in its own right. Does this mean that the Church should take political power over society? Apparently not, since Bell's ideal are the Cistercian monastic communities of the Middle Ages.
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