The History and Politics of Latin American Theology, Volume 1

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The History and Politics of Latin American Theology, Volume 1

Mario I. Aguilar

Publisher: SCM PressFormat: Paperback

This work explores the contribution of major Latin American theologians to contemporary politics. Aguilar argues that within the Latin American context there has been a rediscovery of a fluid and sometimes contradictory relationship between the practice of religion and the practice of politics. For Christians in that context were forced to respond to a crisis in politics, whereby their own beliefs, practices, and way of life was pushed to the limit by human rights violations and absolutist forms of government. The Christian response was a confrontation against the state, the case of Chile, or a dissenting silence, the case of Argentina. The historical relations between Church and state has been well documented but with the advent of democratic governments and the collapse of socialist regimes in Eastern Europe those narratives were given less attention by theologians and Christians around the globe.However, the basic relations between religion and politics outlined by Gutierrez became the Christian manifesto for Christian actions related to more contemporary problems in Latin America and the Third World: contemporary problems of land ownership, the neo-liberal economic conquest of the Third World, the oppression of women, the destruction of rainforests, global warming, corruption, and indigenous rights. In order to understand what became a Christian manifesto and the influence the pioneers of liberation theology has had on Christian action today one must depart from the well-known first period of Liberation theology - while acknowledging as all formative and seminal for discussions today and in the future.

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