- liberation theology
a 20th-century Christian theology, emphasizing the Biblical and doctrinal theme of liberation from oppression, whether racial, sexual, economic, or political.[1970-75]
* * *Roman Catholic movement that originated in the late 20th century in Latin America and seeks to express religious faith by helping the poor and working for political and social change.It began in 1968, when bishops attending the Latin American Bishops' Conference in Medellín, Colom., affirmed the rights of the poor and asserted that industrialized nations were enriching themselves at the expense of the Third World. The movement's central text, A Theology of Liberation (1971), was written by the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez (b. 1928). Liberation theologians have sometimes been criticized as purveyors of Marxism, and the Vatican has sought to curb their influence by appointing more conservative prelates.
* * *in late 20th-century Roman Catholicism, a movement centred in Latin America (Latin America, history of) that sought to apply religious faith by aiding the poor and oppressed through involvement in political and civic affairs. It stressed both heightened awareness of the socioeconomic structures that caused social inequities and active participation in changing those structures.Liberation theologians believed that God speaks particularly through the poor and that the Bible can be understood only when seen from the perspective of the poor. They perceived that the Roman Catholic church in Latin America was fundamentally different from the church in Europe—i.e., that the church in Latin America was a church for and of the poor. In order to build this church, they established communidades de base, or base communities, local Christian groups composed of 10 to 30 members each, that both studied the Bible and attempted to meet their parishioners' immediate needs for food, water, sewage disposal, and electricity. A great number of base communities, led mostly by laypersons, sprang into being throughout Latin America.The birth of the liberation theology movement is usually dated to the second Latin American Bishops' Conference, which was held in Medellín, Colom., in 1968. At this conference the attending bishops issued a document affirming the rights of the poor and asserting that industrialized nations enriched themselves at the expense of Third World countries. The movement's seminal text, Teología de la liberación (1971; A Theology of Liberation), was written by Gustavo Gutiérrez (Gutiérrez, Gustavo), a Peruvian priest and theologian. Other leaders of the movement included Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador (killed in 1980), Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, Jesuit scholar Jon Sobrino, and Archbishop Helder Câmara of Brazil.The liberation theology movement gained strength in Latin America during the 1970s. Because of their insistence that ministry includes involvement in the political struggle of the poor against wealthy elites, liberation theologians were often criticized—both formally, from within the Roman Catholic church, and informally—as naive purveyors of Marxism and advocates of left-wing social activism. By the 1990s the Vatican, under Pope John Paul II, had begun trying to curb the movement's influence through the appointment of more conservative prelates in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.
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Liberation theology — is a school of theology within Christianity, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church. It emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed, particularly through political activism. Its theologians consider sin the root … Wikipedia
liberation theology — n. a Christian theology incorporating political, esp. Marxist, theory and seeking to liberate people, esp. of the Third World, from economic or political oppression … English World dictionary
liberation theology — During the 20th century, various groups challenged the universality of traditional Christian theology. They suggested that established church theologies did not speak for the whole church, but only for the ecclesiastical and political leaders… … Encyclopedia of Protestantism
liberation theology — Several Roman Catholic theologians working in impoverished communities in Latin America have emphasized that both in the OT and in the NT injustice and oppression have been condemned in the name of God. The books of Exodus and 1 and 2 Macc.… … Dictionary of the Bible
Liberation Theology — A radical theology that arose in the Latin American Catholic Church during the 1960s. Unlike the traditional church in the region, which had aligned itself for centuries with the military and the wealthy elites, practitioners of liberation… … Historical Dictionary of the “Dirty Wars”
liberation theology — N UNCOUNT Liberation theology is the belief that the Christian Church should be actively involved in politics in order to bring about social change … English dictionary
liberation theology — noun a form of Christian theology (developed by South American Roman Catholics) that emphasizes social and political liberation as the anticipation of ultimate salvation • Hypernyms: ↑theology, ↑theological system … Useful english dictionary
liberation theology — noun Date: 1972 a religious movement especially among Roman Catholic clergy in Latin America that combines political philosophy usually of a Marxist orientation with a theology of salvation as liberation from injustice • liberation theologian… … New Collegiate Dictionary
liberation theology — libera′tion theol ogy n. rel a modern Christian theology stressing liberation from racial, economic, and political oppression • Etymology: 1970–75 libera′tion theolo gian, n … From formal English to slang
Liberation Theology — A system of theology which initially arose in South America: it makes use of Marxist categories and stresses justice and God’s bias to the poor … Who’s Who in Christianity