Originally posted in Rabyd Theologian 2.0 on March 19th, 2011
Wikipedia – ‘… is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teaching of Jesus Christ in terms of liberation from unjust economic, political or social conditions.”
This movement was originally started in the 1950s in Latin America as a Roman Catholic movement. The Vatican frowned on liberation theology because of its obvious Marxist connections. In short, this seems to be an attempt to join the ideas of some of the teachings of Jesus with Marxism and the idea of revolutionary overthrow of governments in order to ease poverty and political injustice.
This movement has had many influences including various movements in the United States such as black liberation theology and other movements that promote an overthrow of what is to establish a more socially responsive government.
There are some problems with this theology from my perspective, chief among them is the fact this theology seems to be very selective about which teachings of Christ it follows. It embraces any teaching about helping people but it ignores such teachings that involve passive resistance of evil action. Other things as historical theology would point out as well: the early Christians; for instance, never used aggressive or violent revolution to take out the Roman government for example. It also assumes Jesus taught Marxist communism, which I don’t see either with some of Jesus’ teachings on landowners and master servant relationships.
In many ways this theology is an attempt to have Communism and Christianity hold hands in unity and as far as I can tell that has some difficulties. It also overemphasizes social responsibility over individual responsibility to the point it justifies anger and even hatred toward people in government. In many respects, it has a tunnel vision on justifying revolution in Christ’s teachings more than anything else.
Next: Process Theology