Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Liberation Theology

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 source of poverty, the sin in question being exploitative capitalism and class war by the rich against the poor. It has a range of meanings: broadly, especially in the media, it may refer to any politically-activist Christian thought, but the technical sense is narrower.

Liberation Theologians use political theory, primarily Marxism, to help understand how to combat poverty. Some elements of certain liberation theologies have been rejected by leaders of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church over the last 30 years. At its inception, liberation theology was predominantly found in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. It is sometimes regarded as a form of Christian socialism, and it has enjoyed widespread influence in Latin America and among the Jesuits, although its influence diminished within Catholicism after liberation theologians using Marxist concepts were harshly admonished by Pope John Paul II (leading to the curtailing of its growth).





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