Liberation Theology

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Gustavo Gutiérrez, Latin American representative and namesake of liberation theology, 2007

The liberation theology or theology of liberation is in Latin America resulting direction of Christian theology . It sees itself as the "voice of the poor" and wants to contribute to their liberation from exploitation , disenfranchisement and oppression . Based on the situation of socially declassed sections of the population, she interprets biblical tradition as an impetus for comprehensive social criticism . The various forms of liberation theology in the respective countries relate to an independent analysis of political and economic dependence ( dependency theory ). With a commitment to the lived faith in this world, liberation theology works for a grassroots and partly socialist social order.

This inevitably resulted in considerable conflicts with the church hierarchy , especially in the Catholic Church , which often resulted in disciplinary measures against individual clergymen. As a consequence of their convictions, the liberation theologians also openly opposed the oligarchic and dictatorial regimes widespread in South America , which cost the lives of numerous clergy. The most famous victim is Óscar Romero , the archbishop of El Salvador who was murdered in 1980 .

The basic concepts of liberation theology emerged from the self-organization of basic Catholic communities in Brazil since around 1960 . With the support for the poor by the second general Latin American bishops' conference ( CELAM ) in Medellín , this direction became known to a wider public in 1968. It was named after the 1971 book Teología de la liberación by Gustavo Gutiérrez .

The predominantly Catholic liberation theology received suggestions from the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and has an impact on ecumenism and socially critical Protestantism . Similar concepts also developed in South Africa and some countries in Asia . The “black theology” that arose in the USA in connection with the civil rights movement is also understood as liberation theology.

Origin and background

Since around the time of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, so-called “base communities” have increasingly formed in the poor and mostly Catholic populations of former European colonies . Its members were usually landless farmers ( campesinos ), farm workers, slum dwellers and illiterate people who tried to cope with their everyday problems together. Here the biblical message was directly related to the real situation of its readers in order to develop a social perspective of hope for them. The special feature of this realistic and practical exegesis is that it is carried out by the poor affected themselves, who discover themselves as being meant and addressed in the Bible texts.

Gradually, in almost every country in Latin America, beginning in 1964 with a military coup in Brazil , military dictatorships supported by the United States' economic and military support came to power. This development peaked in the 1970s and 1980s. Almost without exception, the regimes pursued domestic policies that were socially and economically disadvantageous to catastrophic for the majority of the population and only benefited the numerically small upper classes. Any attempts and demands to improve the situation of the poor through reforms or even to question the power relations were answered by the rulers with massive violence and repression, which culminated in so-called " dirty wars " in many Latin American countries . In return, it came in many countries since 1965 rebellions , coups and revolution tests , as in Argentina , Brazil, Chile , Peru , El Salvador and Nicaragua .

Human rights organizations estimate the overall balance of the state's Latin American repression policy in the 1970s and 1980s as follows: Around 50,000 people were directly murdered, around 350,000 are considered to be forcibly and permanently " disappeared " (the so-called Desaparecidos ), and 400,000 were temporarily for political reasons held captive.

In this context, a growing number of Christian communities and church representatives took the side of the people struggling for liberation. The role of the church , however, remained ambiguous: Part of the church hierarchy was always close to the side of the respective rulers - even in the case of oligarchic , military-backed authoritarian regimes or military dictatorships - as long as they were Christian and anti-communist or conservative, what Latin America was almost always the case . Another part of the church, however, developed a new and comprehensive solidarity with the poor majority of the population out of the concrete daily experiences with oppression, torture , the police state , lawlessness and misery, which inevitably also meant criticism of the property and power relations.

In 1968 the second general Latin American Bishops' Conference (CELAM) took place in Medellín. The bishops gathered there tried to position themselves against the newly emerging social movements . Under the leadership of the Brazilian Archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara , the "enormous social injustices in Latin America" ​​were denounced. The liberal-capitalist and the Marxist social system were condemned. Instead, a non-violent and reformist so-called Third Way to Liberation was proposed. Following on from the encyclical Populorum progressio by Pope Paul VI. The entire Latin American Catholic episcopate, in the presence and with the approval of the Pope, made the option for the poor the guiding principle of the church's position. Gustavo Gutierrez (Peru), Hugo Assman (Bolivia), Juan Luis Segundo (Uruguay) and Leonardo Boff (Brazil) all independently published their writings, which are considered the foundation of the theology of liberation, in the same year 1971.

There were similar upheavals in the USA, where the civil rights and protest movement of the 1960s developed into a “black theology” against everyday racism . This in turn influenced the Christian-motivated anti- apartheid movement in South Africa; an example of this is the Kairos document . In the Philippines , Sri Lanka and India , too , a "theology of struggle" emerged since 1968. These endeavors are often summarized as "Third World Theology", although they were each independent and also influenced European and North American representatives.


Biblical interpretation guided by the life experience of the poor

Liberation theology is originally a theology of the poor . The development of the basic churches with common forms of worship, led by no officials, was well advanced when the first liberation theologians were heard on the international book market. Their authors do not see themselves as the "inventors" of a new theology, but as the mouthpiece of the oppressed, hence the understanding of the theology of the oppressed people . It was these themselves who rediscovered their very own theme in the Bible, liberation from every form of slavery, and derived political conclusions from this for their reality.

Liberation theology wants to support this discovery and make it effective in practice. This is justified by the fact that liberation is the main theme throughout the Bible and that the poor and oppressed are the central addressees of this liberation. The exodus tradition plays a key role here: Here the God of Israel appears as the one “who sees the misery of his people and hears the cries about their oppressors” ( Ex 3.7  EU ). This is also confirmed right at the beginning in the New Testament , where Mary sings in praise for the promised birth of the Messiah :

“He pushes the mighty from their throne and exalts the low. He fills the hungry with goods and leaves the rich empty-handed. "

- ( Lk 1.53  EU )

That is why salvation as the central concept of the biblical message of salvation is not understood exclusively in a spiritual sense, as in traditional theology, but as a socio-political and economic revolutionary change. The salvation that the Bible proclaims is no longer related only to the hereafter , but to the social reality in this world . Liberation theologians emphasize that they do not arrive at this interpretation arbitrarily, but following the stubbornness of the Bible. From this they deduce a fundamental reorientation of the church towards the future of the poor: not only in their countries, but as a challenge to the whole church and the ecumenical movement.

Methodically, liberation theologians represent a contextual Bible exegesis . First, an up-to-date socio-political analysis of the present situation is carried out in order to derive guidelines for the interpretation of the text, which in turn relate to one's own situation ( hermeneutic circle ).

Socialist and grassroots social reforms

Politically, liberation theological drafts mostly favor a socialist model of society, whereby they clearly distinguish themselves against the dominance of Soviet -controlled parties and new dictatorships and emphasize the grassroots democratic and cooperative elements. The point of reference for their social criticism is the so-called dependency theory , which explains the mechanisms of exploitation from a dual identity of interests: on the one hand, from the close interweaving of their own national elites with the elites of the rich industrial nations (class antagonism), but on the other hand, the integration of large parts of wage earners in the wealth gap in rich countries.

Relationship to social sciences

The Latin American liberation theology has been based on the Latin American sociology of the 1960s, which was determined by the dependence theory. This reacted to the crisis of the development model of import substitution , which had hoped that greater industrialization would result in less dependence on imports and thus on the market in the highly industrialized countries. This concept was represented at the time by the Alliance for Progress , the Christian Democracy of Chile (until 1965) and economists from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) such as Raúl Prebisch . They distinguished themselves as the liberation theologians of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism from, but have been (span. From the Dependenztheoretikern as "Desarrollisten" desarrollo = Development) criticized.

According to Steffen Flechsig, the correct development models of CEPAL have failed because of the politics of right-wing regimes since the 1964 coup in Brazil , then in Bolivia , and since 1973 in Chile and Argentina . This would have turned the continent into a power-political parade ground for a neoliberal elite prepared to use violence in order to reverse the successes of reforms of the 1960s.

The Russian economist Viktor Krasilschtschikow described the transition to neoliberalism as a global process not limited to Latin America. In order to analyze this global capitalism, the sociologist and religious socialist Karl Polanyi co-founded the world system approach as early as the 1930s . In contrast, the dependency theory is criticized as being too oriented towards the Latin American situation, which does not cover the situation in the Muslim world and Asia as well as the growing inequality and impoverishment in Europe and North America. The dependency theory in turn responded to the criticism through a critical dialogue with the world system theory.

According to Ivan Petrella , liberation theology needs to deal more closely with issues such as sexism and pollution in order to ally with other social movements.

Relationship to Judaism

In contrast to European theology since 1945, the Judeo-Christian dialogue was not an issue for many liberation theologians until around 1990. Historical-critical biblical research and exegetical knowledge gained in dialogue with Jewish theologians were hardly received or received relatively late. Due to the basic hermeneutic rule of reading the biblical texts through the eyes of the currently oppressed and relating them directly to their living environment, the biblical tradition was creatively appropriated on the one hand, and the historical situation of the text's creation and its relation to the chosen people of God, the Israelites , was often ignored . In doing so, anti-Judaistic clichés from older European theology were taken over without reflection .

The Brazilian Carlos Mesters, for example, portrayed the Sadducees and Pharisees in the New Testament 1973 as common opponents of Jesus and representatives of a religious system that was deadly for the people of the poor. In particular, the Pharisees "suffocated life" with their interpretation of the law in order to religiously secure their oppressive rule. They would have taught literal observance of the Torah and used it to disguise and defend a man-made system of exploitation.

Mesters compared the main representatives of Judaism since 1970 with the representatives of "national security" in Latin American military dictatorships, who also supported and justified church officials. To this end, he drew a caricature of the Pharisees that was cultivated in German theology at least until 1960: in fact, this popular lay movement represented a flexible, situationally appropriate interpretation of the Torah even before Jesus.

1986 Mesters honored the Ten Commandments and the social laws of the Torah as a way to liberation from the "house of slavery" in covenant with the partisan God who wants to free the poor permanently from the current oppression through law and justice. The casuistic, letter-clinging Torah interpretation failed historically, Jesus made a new covenant with the poor and thus opened up future prospects for them. Mesters referred this to attempts in Brazil at the time to introduce a new constitutional constitution with the participation of the population.

Hermann Brandt criticized this interpretation in 1990 as follows:

"The price for the appropriation of the Ten Commandments and the legal provisions [...] by the base churches is de facto the disinheritance of Israel."

In contrast, Philip Potter , African-American advocate of liberation theology in the WCC , understood Zionism as a movement to free the Jewish people from oppression and racism . He therefore contradicted resolution 3379 of the UN General Assembly of November 10, 1975, which equated Zionism with racism. Today liberation theologians are more engaged in dialogue with Jewish and Muslim theologians and sociologists than in the past.


Latin American Liberation Theologians

Representatives of the Latin American liberation theology are also:

Liberation theologians with church or political office were or are:

German-speaking liberation theologians

In the German-speaking countries in particular, some prominent theologians have tried to assert basic liberation theological ideas for the rich churches of Europe. These are:

Theologians such as Karl Rahner , Jürgen Moltmann , Johann Baptist Metz , Peter Eicher and Helmut Gollwitzer are generally not counted as part of liberation theology, but were in some intensive dialogue with it.

Liberation theologians of other countries

Areas of Effect


Liberation theology had an impact on the base churches and founded many new social initiatives in Latin America, South Africa and South Asia, but also to support them in the western world. This can be seen, for example, in the increasing attention to issues of "one world", which ecumenism divides into three main areas:

Liberation theology has created a somewhat greater awareness within the churches of the western world for the social need of the people in the poorer countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia . Since 1985 the representatives of the theology of liberation on the southern continents have been exchanging ideas in the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians . Another - predominantly Catholic - theological association is Amerindia.

See also: Conciliar process

Roman Catholic Church

Latin American liberation theologians and grassroots churches have attacked the church hierarchy both in their states and in the rich industrial nations. Analyzing one's own situation inevitably included criticizing the abuse of religion as an essential pillar of oppression, asserting exploitative interests and dumbing down the poor. Liberation theologians criticize the traditional combination of “throne and altar”, that is, the political alliance between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and right-wing parties and regimes in Latin America, as a kind of clerical fascism . The church should not make people the tools of their institutional self-preservation, but people should make the church the tool for the preservation of creation. In this sense, the Church has also become a moderately oppositional factor in Cuba .

Political and church responses inevitably followed. The understanding of salvation as liberation and its social consequences for the political systems in Latin America led to heated controversy in the Roman Catholic Church . The Vatican officially rejected liberation theology in the 1970s and withdrew the license to teach from some prominent representatives. Pope John Paul II campaigned against liberation theology, for example, by transferring priests who were attached to her or by appointing opponents as bishops. On the other hand, this Pope has intensified criticism of capitalism since the end of the Cold War in 1990.

In Germany, Joseph Höffner in particular strictly rejected liberation theology with its sociological and economic arguments and instead recommended a reflection on Roman Catholic social teaching . Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - later Pope Benedict XVI.  - argued against any political theology and criticized that a purely sociological view of the church as a power factor missed the actual goal of the church, namely to convince people of their trust in the truth of Jesus Christ. Liberation theology also makes itself the stirrup holder of future dictators . As chairman of the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger was largely responsible for the revocation of teaching permits and the ban on speaking against Leonardo Boff . He raised u. a. the accusation that liberation theology is actually a Marxism in Christian guise and strives for a socialist model of society that is not compatible with the order of creation.

The partisanship for the poor anchored in the resolutions of Medellín prevented the church hierarchy from breaking openly with liberation theology. At the V CELAM General Conference in Aparecida (Brazil) in 2007, together with the Pope, they discussed religious and social reform issues from a common perspective with the bishops, who lean towards liberation theology.

In the same year, however, a new edition of the controversy between church hierarchy and liberation theology appeared when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a notification in which essential aspects of the liberation-theological christology of Jon Sobrino were criticized. In December 2009, Benedict XVI. also an address to five Brazilian bishops in which he spoke of "some deceptive principles of liberation theology". The criticism was probably directed at the present Bishop of Caçador , Luiz Carlos Eccel, who wrote in a 2007 pastoral letter:

"Whoever rejects liberation theology also rejects Jesus Christ, because every theology is either liberating or it is not theology."

Overall, Catholic liberation theology has become very differentiated today. While some - such as Gustavo Gutiérrez and Clodovis Boff - try to improve the relationship to the hierarchy, others concentrate on the development of e.g. B. feminist, ecological or current liberation theologies critical of capitalism.


In Latin America, which is dominated by Catholicism, some Protestant (predominantly Methodist and Lutheran ) churches played a decisive role in the development of liberation theology. The Brazilian Rubem Alves, the Argentine José Míguez Bonino and the Uruguayans Emilio Castro and Julio de Santa Ana gave important impulses . In addition, the American Richard Shaull should be mentioned, who worked in Brazil and represents a "theology of the revolution". Another example is the Minjung theology in Korea.

Unlike the Catholic liberation theology, which had its points of reference mainly in the course of the Second Vatican Council and in the base communities, its Protestant variant developed in a critical examination of European dialectical theology and dealt with the question of how a credible political engagement of the Churches and individual Christians in the Latin American context could take shape. The participation of Christians in revolutionary upheavals and the attitude towards the guerrillas was discussed . Against this background, José Míguez Bonino formulated that it is important in Latin America to “practice theology in a revolutionary situation”. On the Catholic side, Hugo Assmann took similar positions, who therefore sought a close connection with the Protestant liberation theologians.

The Protestant liberation theologians united in the group Iglesia y Sociedad en América Latina (ISAL, Spanish "Church and Society in Latin America") supported the left government of General Juan José Torres in Bolivia (1970–1971) from this position. In Argentina liberation-theologically oriented Protestant churches together with some Catholic dioceses founded the Ecumenical Human Rights Movement (MEDH), which fights for an explanation of the fate of the 30,000 Desaparecidos during the military dictatorship 1976-1983. There were also links to the Christian movement for socialism that had developed in Chile .

The peace churches took up some of the suggestions made by liberation theologians, nonetheless adhering to their strict non-violence and rejecting the participation of Christians in revolutionary violence.

Many evangelicals and the charismatic movement in Latin America distance themselves from liberation theology and its social criticism. Instead of social reforms, they accentuate the redemption of the individual and, in the Pentecostal churches, often also a gospel of prosperity . At the same time, according to Michael Vollmann, evangelical Protestantism practices “in a certain way what development policy also preaches: helping people to help themselves” with the opportunity to “build social structures and create social capital”. However, this only serves to improve the socio-economic situation as long as those " free churches that are only out for quick profit by exploiting their believers [...] remain the exceptions". The overemphasis on individual salvation prompted evangelical theologians such as Samuel Escobar and René Padilla to call for a stronger social awareness in the evangelical churches of Latin America and beyond under the motto of “Integral Mission”. Corresponding organizations such as La Red del Camino are active in the sense of the "integral mission". Padilla sees this approach as an “alternative to liberation theology”.

The successes of the charismatic movement also reflect the disappointments of Christian parts of the population with liberation theology: Their claim to start theology from and for the poor and oppressed did not have a convincing effect everywhere. Some liberation theologians rejected popular piety as anti-enlightenment . Following Marx, José Míguez Bonino described her as “a deeply alienated and alienating piety”. In doing so, they misunderstood their great comfort and hope-giving importance for the people. The devaluation of popular piety by theologians of the Liberation offended many members of the grassroots congregations. Theology thus once again became an academic matter that only reached a few initiates and did not reach any mass movement. The lack of a really just social order that would involve the masses in the political decision-making and shaping process resulted in a return to purely inner-individual expectations of happiness and salvation in many places.


As early as 1969, shortly after the bishops' meeting in Medellín, the future US Vice President Nelson Rockefeller informed the Richard Nixon government about the threat to US interests in Latin America , which Rockefeller believed emanated from liberation theology. The so-called Rockefeller Report stated:

"If the Latin American Church implements the Medellín Accords, US interests are at risk."

In some Latin American states, grassroots churches and liberation theologians temporarily gained influence on political changes, for example the brothers Fernando and Ernesto Cardenal in the course of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua or Óscar Romero in El Salvador in the 1970s. In the last sermon before he was murdered by the military in 1980, Archbishop Romero commented on the massive social problems in El Salvador with a dramatic appeal that touched on some central statements of liberation theology:

“No soldier is forced to obey an order that violates the law of God. No one is subject to an amoral law. It is time you rediscovered your conscience and held it higher than the commands of sin. The Church, defender of divine rights and God's justice, the dignity of man and person, cannot remain silent in the face of these great atrocities. We urge the government to recognize the futility of reforms born of the blood of the people. In the name of God and in the name of this suffering people, whose complaints rise louder to heaven every day, I ask you, I ask you, I command you in the name of God: Stop the repression ! "

- Óscar Romero : Last sermon on March 23, 1980, Cathedral of San Salvador

In order to combat this influence ideologically and militarily, organizations supported by the government were formed in the USA, which, like the Contras in Nicaragua, worked with the military of Latin American dictatorships against left-wing movements and parties , provided them with weapons, and provided them with weapons for their use and torture methods trained (see also Dirty War and School of the Americas ). For example, a secret document drawn up after the bishops' conference in Puebla in 1980 by the "Committee of Santa Fe", which included advisers to the later US President Ronald Reagan , called for the USA to fight the theology of liberation and its representatives in a psychological, political and military manner :

"US policy must begin to counter (not react against) liberation theology as it is utilized in Latin America by the 'liberation theology' clergy."

As a result of this cooperation, high rewards were offered in El Salvador for murdering priests close to liberation theology, to whom Óscar Romero also fell victim in 1980. In the same year the American missionaries Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford and Dorothy Kazel, who came to El Salvador inspired by Romero's example, were kidnapped, raped and murdered by soldiers of the Salvadoran military. Another consequence is a massacre on November 16, 1989 , in which the special military unit Bataillon Atlacatl, formed and trained by the US military, murdered a group of liberation theologically oriented Jesuits , including Ignacio Ellacuría , at the Central American University in San Salvador.

Social and political movements influenced by liberation theology are the landless movement and the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) in Brazil, the indigenous movement in Ecuador and the Zapatistas in Mexico. In 1990 the Salesian priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide , who came from the liberation-theologically inspired Lavalas movement, was elected President of Haiti. From the presidential elections in Paraguay in 2008 was Fernando Lugo , liberation theologian and former bishop of San Pedro , the winner.

Musical reception

See also


Introductions and overview presentations
  • Norbert Arntz (ed.), Raúl Fornet-Betancourt, Georg Wolter: Workshop “Kingdom of God”. Liberation theological impulses in practice. IKO-Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-88939-638-0 , 9783889396389 ( online ).
  • Ignacio Ellacuría , Jon Sobrino (eds.): Mysterium Liberationis. Basic concepts of the theology of liberation. Two volumes. Edition Exodus, Lucerne 1995/1996; ISBN 3-905575-98-1 .
  • Raúl Fornet-Betancourt : Liberation Theology. Critical review and perspectives for the future. Three volumes. Grünewald, Mainz 1997.
  • Christopher Rowland (Ed.): The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology , Cambridge University Press, New York 2nd ed. 2007, ISBN 978-0-521-86883-9
Latin American authors
  • Clodovis Boff , Jorge Pixley : The Option for the Poor. Experience of God and justice ; Düsseldorf: Patmos, 1991; ISBN 3-491-77713-5 .
  • Leonardo Boff : The Rediscovery of the Church. Base churches in Latin America ; Mainz: Grünewald, 1980; ISBN 3-7867-0802-9 .
  • Leonardo Boff: Church, Charisma and Power. Studies on a controversial ecclesiology ; Düsseldorf: Patmos, 1985; ISBN 3-492-11078-9 .
  • Leonardo Boff: Jesus Christ, the Liberator ; Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1986; ISBN 3-451-08782-0
  • Ernesto Cardenal (ed.): The Gospel of the Peasants of Solentiname ; Wuppertal: Peter Hammer, 1991 3 ; ISBN 3-87294-163-1 .
  • Enrique Dussel : Domination and Liberation. Approach, stations and topics of a Latin American theology of liberation ; Freiburg / Üe .: Ed. Exodus, 1985; ISBN 3-905575-11-6 .
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez : The historical power of the poor ; Mainz: Grünewald, 1984; ISBN 3-459-01567-5 .
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez: At the side of the poor. Theology of liberation ; Augsburg: Sankt Ulrich, 2004; ISBN 3-936484-40-6 .
  • Maricel Mena López : Our body is salvation. Black Feminist Liberation Theology ; in: ila 256 (2002); Pp. 17–18 (pp. 3–34: Dossier on the theology of liberation).
  • Jon Sobrino : Christology of Liberation , Volume 1; Mainz: Grünewald, 1998; ISBN 3-7867-2130-0 .
  • Luis Zambrano : Origin and theological understanding of the “Church of the People” (Iglesia Popular) in Latin America ; Experience and theology, 6; Frankfurt / Main, Bern: Lang, 1982; ISBN 3-8204-7268-1 . At the same time dissertation at the University of Tübingen, 1982.
  • Luis Zambrano: The Church of the Southern Andes in Peru: Its Commitment in Favor of the Poor ; in: Andreas Müller, Arno Tausch , Paul Zulehner , Henry Wickens: Global Capitalism, Liberation Theology and the Social Sciences ; New York: Nova Biomedical, 2000; ISBN 1-56072-679-2 .

German-speaking authors

  • Ulrich Duchrow , Franz Josef Hinkelammert : Life is more than capital. Alternatives to the global dictatorship of property. Oberursel: Publik-Forum , 2002; ISBN 3-88095-117-9 .
  • Josef Estermann: New wine in old bottles? Transformations of Latin American Liberation Theology. in: Norbert Kößmeier , Richard Brosse (ed.): Faces of a strange theology. Speaking of God beyond Europe. In: Theology of the Third World 34, Herder, Freiburg 2006; ISBN 3-451-28956-3 .
  • Kuno Füssel , Franz Segbers (ed.): "... this is how the peoples of the world learn justice." A workbook on the Bible and economics ; Salzburg: Pustet, 1995; ISBN 3-7025-0324-2 ; Lucerne: Ed. Exodus; ISBN 3-905575-97-3 .
  • Hans-Peter Gensichen : Poverty will save us. Shared prosperity in a society of less . Oberursel: Publik-Forum Edition, 2009; ISBN 978-3-88095-192-1 .
  • Erhard S. Gerstenberger : Bible and Liberation. From the roots and effects of Latin American liberation theology ; in: Brunhild von Local, Klaus Schäfer (ed.): The text in context: Reading the Bible with different eyes ; World Mission Today 31; Hamburg 1998; Pp. 67-86.
  • Guido Heinen : "With Christ and the Revolution". On the history and work of "iglesia popular" in Sandinista Nicaragua ; Munich Church History Studies, 7; Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1997; ISBN 3-17-013778-6 .
  • Franz Josef Hinkelammert: The ideological weapons of death. On the metaphysics of capitalism ; Freiburg / Üechtland: Exodus, 1986 2 ; ISBN 3-905575-05-1 ; Münster: Ed. Liberación, 1985; ISBN 3-923792-10-7 .
  • Franz Josef Hinkelammert: Critique of Utopian Reason. An examination of the mainstreams of modern social theory ; Mainz: Grünewald, 1994; ISBN 3-7867-1783-4 ; Lucerne: Ed. Exodus, 1994; ISBN 3-905575-92-2 .
  • Franz Josef Hinkelammert: Culture of Hope. For a society without exclusion and the destruction of nature ; Mainz: Grünewald, 1999; ISBN 3-7867-2166-1 ; Lucerne: Ed. Exodus, 1999; ISBN 3-905577-34-8 .
  • Elmar Klinger : Poverty - A Challenge from God. The Faith of the Council and the Liberation of Man ; Zurich: Benziger, 1990; ISBN 3-545-24077-0 .
  • Elmar Klinger, Rolf Zerfaß (Ed.): The basic communities. A step on the way to the Church of the Council ; Würzburg: Echter, 1984.
  • Willi Knecht : The Church of Cajamarca. The challenge of an option for the poor ; Münster: Lit-Verlag, 2005.
  • Michael Löwy (Ed.): Theology of Liberation and Socialism ; Frankfurt / Main: International Socialist Publications, 1987; ISBN 3-88332-130-3 .
  • Missionszentrale der Franziskaner (Ed.): When life, faith and thought are one: Liberation theology up to date ; Reports, documents, comments 89; Bonn: MZF, 2002.
  • Gerhard Oberkofler : Peace Movement and Liberation Theology. Marxist fragments commemorating the peace fighter Daniel Berrigan SJ (1921–2016) . Trafo Verlag, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-86464-139-8 .
  • Sabine Plonz : The fight for hope. Current Trends in Latin American Theology ; in: ila 296 (2006), pp. 24-26.
  • Sabine Plonz: The masterless powers ; Mainz: Grünewald, 1999; ISBN 3-7867-1880-6 .
  • Annegreth Schilling: Revolution, Struggle and Liberation. The boom of Latin American Protestantism in international ecumenism in the 1960s and 1970s . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht: Göttingen 2016 ISBN 978-3-525-55778-5
  • Bruno Schlegelberger with Josef Sayer and K. Weber: From Medellín to Puebla. Conversations with Latin American theologians , Patmos, Düsseldorf 1980. ISBN 3-491-77338-5
  • Josef Senft : The Latin American Theology of Liberation, the Option for the Poor and the Roman Catholic Church ; Munich 2013, 13 pages, ISBN (eBook): 978-3-656-40417-0.
  • Stefan Silber : Theology of Liberation in Religious Dialogue. A new development in Latin America ; in: Voices of the Time 130 (2005), pp. 484–488.
  • Stefan Silber: Complex and lively. Recent Developments in Liberation Theology ; in: Herder-Korrespondenz 60 (2006), pp. 523-528 and in:
  • Stefan Silber: Dead said and yet alive: topicality of the theology of liberation in Latin America , in: ET Studies 5 (2014) 1, 139–149
  • Freddy Dutz , Bärbel Fünfsinn , Sabine Plonz (eds.): We wear the color of the earth. New theological contributions from Latin America ; Blue row 10; Hamburg: Evangelical Mission, 2004.
  • Norbert Greinacher (ed.): Conflict about the theology of liberation - discussion and documentation ; Einsiedeln 1985.
  • Norbert Ahrens : God is Brazilian, but the Pope is Pole - background to the theology of liberation ; Goettingen 1986.
  • Achim Pfeiffer : The conflict over the theology of liberation ; in: Religion and Politics in the Writings of Pope Benedict XVI. ; Marburg 2007; ISBN 978-3-8288-9227-9 .
  • Roland Spliesgart : Liberation theology in transition: Will collectivism be replaced by multiculturalism? Challenges for the 90s , in: Yearbook for Contextual Theologies No. 3, ed. From the missiological institute Missio eV, Frankfurt 1995, pp. 95–113.
Critique of liberation theology from the perspective of Christian social teaching
  • Franz Hengsbach , Alfonso López Trujillo (ed.): Church and Liberation ; Aschaffenburg: Pattloch, 1975.
  • Franz Hengsbach, Alfonso López Trujillo (ed.): Attack and defense, reports, comments, documents on the dispute over ADVENIAT and the “theology of liberation” ; Aschaffenburg: Pattloch, 1978.
  • Joseph Höffner : Social Doctrine of the Church or Theology of Liberation ; in: ders .: In the power of faith , Volume 2: Church - Society ; Freiburg / Breisgau among others: Herder, 1986; ISBN 3-451-20878-4 ; Pp. 453-479.
  • Manfred Hermanns : Catholic social teaching and / or theology of liberation? Image of man and business ethics ; in: Karl Hugo Breuer (Ed.): Yearbook for Youth Social Work , Volume 12; Cologne: Die Heimstatt, 1991; ISSN  0721-6084 ; Pp. 193-217.
  • Manfred Hermanns: Social ethics through the ages. History of the Chair for Christian Social Studies in Münster 1893–1997 ; Paderborn: Schöningh, 2006; ISBN 978-3-506-72989-7 ; especially pp. 347-359.
Neoliberal Critique of Liberation Theologies
  • Michael Novak: Will it liberate? Questions about liberation theology ; New York: Paulist Press, 1986.
  • Michael Novak: Liberation theology and the liberal society ; Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1987.

Web links

Commons : Liberation theology  - collection of images, videos and audio files
for social analysis

Individual evidence

  1. Article Theology of Liberation in TRE and Liberation Theology ; in: RGG 4
  2. ^ "Operation Condor" - Terror in the Name of the State ( Memento from September 12, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) ., September 12, 2008
  3. The Church of Latin America. Documents of the II. And III. General Assembly of the Latin American Episcopate in Medellín and Puebla ; Voices of the Universal Church 8; Bonn 1985; Document 15: The Poverty of the Church , p. 115
  4. Reinhard Frieling: Liberation theologies: Studies on theology in Latin America ; 1984; ISBN 3-525-87148-1
  5. Interview with Leonardo Boff, December 2016
  6. Steffen Flechsig in: Global Capitalism, Liberation Theology and the Social Sciences. Nova Science Publishers, New York.
  7. Victor Krasilshchikov: The Rise and Decline of Catching Up Development. An Experience of Russia and Latin America with Implications for Asian “Tigers” ( Memento of October 9, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  8. Ivan Petrella: The Future of Liberation Theology. An Argument and Manifesto. Aldershot, Ashgate 2004, ISBN 0-7546-4051-5 and ISBN 978-0-7546-4051-6 .
  9. Hermann Brandt: The use of Judaism in liberation theology. In: Ecumenical Review. 2/1992, p. 425f.
  10. Carlos Mesters: From Life to the Bible, from the Bible to Life. A Bible course from Brazil. 2 volumes, Grünewald, Mainz 1983, ISBN 3-7867-1057-0 .
  11. Roland Thyes : The Pharisees. Your understanding in the mirror of Christian and Jewish research since Wellhausen and Graetz. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1998, ISBN 3-16-146808-2 .
  12. Carlos Mesters: Liberated - Bound - The 10 Commandments. The federal book. Verlag der Ev.-Luth. Mission, Erlangen 1989, ISBN 3-87214-194-5 .
  13. Hermann Brandt: The use of Judaism in liberation theology. In: Ecumenical Review. 2/1990, p. 433.
  14. Philip Potter: Declaration on the Zionism Resolution of the United Nations 1975. In: Rolf Rendtorff , Hans H. Henrix: The churches and Judaism. Documents from 1945–1985. Munich 1988, p. 383.
  15. See anthology Global Capitalism, Liberation Theology and the Social Sciences. Nova Science Publishers, New York.
  16. ^ Rolf Köhler-Friedrichs: Theology under the tree. Jean-Marc Ela's approach to a contextual African liberation theology ( Memento from February 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file; 1.61 MB). Adivasi Tea Project website. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  17. ^ EATWOT website ( Memento from May 31, 2013 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  18. Amerindia website . Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  19. Norbert Arntz: Pope Benedict attacks once again liberation theology . Website of the Institute for Theology and Politics. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  20. José Míguez Bonino: Doing Theology in a Revolutionary Situation. Fortress Press, Philadelphia 1975.
  21. Arturo Blatezky: Between genocide and the hope of liberation. A chronology of human rights work in the Evangelical Church on La Plata. In: Gustav-Adolf-Werk (Ed.): Die evangelische Diaspora (2006), 75th year, pp. 64–95.
  22. Michael Vollmann: Prosperity through repentance and conversion. In: Development and Cooperation - D + C. 2007/12, grandstand, p. 470.
  23. La Red del Camino website . Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  24. ^ Fraternidad Teológica Latinoamericana - Mirada Histórica ( Memento of December 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). FTL website (Spanish). Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  25. José Míguez Bonin: Popular piety in Latin America . In: Concilium , Vol. 10 (1974), pp. 455-460, citation p. 459.
  26. Juan Carlos Scannone : The Role of People's Catholicism in Latin America . In: Johann Baptist Metz, Peter Rottländer (Ed.): Latin America and Europe. Dialogue of theologians . Matthias-Grünewald-Verlag 1988, ISBN 3-7867-1356-1 , pp. 61-74.
  27. Quoted from: Jonas Hagedorn: A church between life and death. Archbishop Oscar A. Romero and the Persecuted Church of El Salvador. In: Klaus Hagedorn (Ed.): Oscar Romero. Integrated - between death and life. BIS-Verlag, Oldenburg 2006, pp. 75–86, here p. 77.
  28. (Text in italics not translated): Yo quisiera hacer un llamamiento, de manera especial, a los hombres del ejército. Y en concrete, a las bases de la Guardia Nacional, de la policía, de los cuarteles… Hermanos, son de nuestro mismo pueblo. Matan a sus mismos hermanos campesinos. Y ante una orden de matar que dé un hombre, debe prevalecer la ley de Dios que dice: “No matar”. Ningún soldado está obligado a obedecer una order against la Ley de Dios. Una ley inmoral, nadie tiene que cumplirla. Ya es tiempo de que recuperen su conciencia, y que obedezcan antes a su conciencia que a la orden del pecado. La Iglesia, defensora de los derechos de Dios, de la Ley de Dios, de la dignidad humana, de la persona, no puede quedarse callada ante tanta abominación. Queremos que el gobierno tome en serio que de nada sirven las reformas si van teñidas con tanta sangre. En nombre de Dios y en nombre de este sufrido pueblo, cuyos lamentos suben hasta el cielo cada día más tumultuosos, les suplico, les ruego, les ordeno en nombre de Dios: Cese lareprión.
    Original speech on Youtube (excerpt)
  29. Erwin Fahlbusch , Jan Milic Lochman , John Mbiti (ed.): The Encyclopedia of Christianity: Si-Z , article "Theology of liberation". P. 56 ( online ).
  30. Santa Fe Committee: A New Inter-American Policy for the 1980s. Frankfurt am Main 1980. Quoted from: Phillip Berryman: Liberation Theology. Pantheon Books, New York 1987.
  31. ^ Liberation Theology: Chronology . Liberation Theology Online Resource Center website . Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  32. Peter Bürger: Ratzinger's fear of the Church of the Poor . In: Telepolis , March 24, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  33. Important proceedings: El Salvador ( Memento of June 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Trial Watch website. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
  34. ^ Initiative Church from Below : Timeline for Liberation Theology ( Memento of December 14, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). IKvU website. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  35. Michael Löwy : The Historical Meaning of Christianity of Liberation in Latin America. In: Mabel Moraña, Enrique Dussel , Carlos A. Jáuregui (eds.): Coloniality at Large. Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate. Duke University Press, Durham / London 2008, p. 355.