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A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation (15th Anniversary Edition with New Introduction by Author) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; Revised edition (June 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883445425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883445426
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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The book was a challenging read for me.
J P Romack
The one great category of Christian theology which Gutierrez does address is eschatology, history, last things.
B. Marold
The book was not light reading for me, but it is well worth the effort.
Novice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lincoln S. Dall on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gustavo Gutierrez changed the world with his articulation of a theology of liberation. I am now a Catholic priest, but before I entered the priesthood, I spent three years serving as a Catholic lay missionary in the jungles of northern Ecuador. The principles of liberation theology guided me through this process. I entered the missionary field without a specific plan. I met with the people in small groups. I listened to them, helping to empower them through the way God was calling out to them in the midst of the stark reality of their lives. I believed in liberation theology, in the way it spoke to the poor, in the way it transcended the academic theology that was born in the classrooms and universities of Europe. But an amazing thing happened in the process. Liberation theology liberated me. I was transformed from an extremely shy introvert to an empowered Christian who has truly found his voice. People who know me cannot believe the transformation. Gustavo Gutierrez and the other liberation theologians (Jon Sobrino, Leonardo Boff, Paulo Freire, Ernesto Cardenal, James Cone, Diana Hayes, Robert McAffee Brown, etc) have inspired me along the journey. I now serve as a priest in the Mississippi Delta, in one of the poorest areas in the United States. I came here with the hope of serving the poor and the forgotten. I am very involved in prison ministry here. A Theology of Liberation by Gustavo Gutierrez broke new ground when it came out, and it is still a revolutionary document today. One of the books that changed my life and help me find my voice.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By jergq@aol.com on March 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the first and probably the most crucial book on Liberation Theology to follow Vatican II and the Medellin conferences. It's not an easy book to read, but it will challenge you, as well as challenge what you think you know about liberation theology. For any student of modern theology this book is well worth the time and effort. Robert McAfee Brown's summary book is no substitute for the real thing.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA on April 7, 2001
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...penned by the man who coined the term "Liberation Theology," which later inspired Ignacio Martin-Baro's "Liberation Psychology," for which he was martyred by a Salvadoran hit team.
My impression was that this was written mainly for clergy getting their activist feet wet. In that sense the book is an invaluable milestone. Because of this, it poses liberation (in the sense of liberation from oppressive social conditions like poverty and tyranny) as an intellectual issue, historically and theologically. Correction: it appeals to an intellectual understanding of what the author obviously has lived and felt very deeply.
Having just read LOVE IN A TIME OF HATE, I bought this book expecting to read flesh-and-blood examples of liberation theology as brought into the streets. You won't find much of that here. It's more of an account of how the movement has gone on in circles theological. As such, it poses vital questions to believers and clergy alike--questions of conscience, questions of the relevance of Scripture and the risks involved in living a Christian life of service and conscience in perilous situations.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on February 17, 2011
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A Theology of Liberation is a recognized classic in its field, which, one can even say, the author, Peruvian Dominican monk, Gustavo Gutierrez, literally invented the field since he coined the term "Liberation Theology" in a 1969 paper on the subject, shortly after the 1968 Medellin conference of Bishops, at which he was a consultant.

The book may be one of the first full explorations of what is now called "contextual theologies", presentations of Christian theology "from the underside", from the point of view of the severely, chronically disadvantaged peoples of the world. The long and the short of this book is that the importance of Gutierrez message deserves its weighty title, but Gutierrez weakens his case by slighting contemporary and historical theology and ignoring some central "theological" issues. But the book has reached the status of "classic" and for that reason deserves to be read today.

What may surprise some people is the fact that Gutierrez is not presenting a radical point of view. The book follows hard on a decade of dramatic moves by the Catholic Church, beginning with Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical, Pacem in Terris, the first addressed to the whole world, rather than to the Catholic faithful. The eventful half decade ended with the close of the Vatican Council II, under Pope Paul VI and his 1968 encyclical, Populorum Progressio, which stated that the economy of the world should serve everyone, not a privileged few. Thus, Gutierrez is firmly within the heart of Catholic teachings, when he speaks for the disadvantaged of the almost entirely Catholic continent of South America.

The sense of "contextual theology" is that doctrines grow out of the circumstances and practice (praxis) of a particular part of the world.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Novice on December 17, 2007
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Serious reading. An indepth look at a complex topic, well-written and documented. Seventy-five pages of notes on the text, most helpful. Pages of biblical references. You'll feel that you have a good understanding of the topic. The book was not light reading for me, but it is well worth the effort.
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