Good Introduction to Liberation Theologies

Those of us who are looking for a good introduction to liberation theology and who understand French, will value the November 2011 issue of the French-Canadian periodical Relations, which devotes a set of articles to liberation theology on the occasion of the anniversary of the publication in 1971 of Gustavo Gutiérrez’ Teología de la liberación. The various articles, written by Jean-Claude Ravet, Yves Carrier, Gregory Baum, Nidia Arrobo Rodas, Claude Lacaille, Carmiña Navia Velasco, Guy Côté, and François Houtart, focus on the history of liberation theology particularly in Latin America, on some of its methodological features such as the basic communities and the use of the bible, on special themes such as the indigenous theologies, the place of women and the challenges posed by the contemporary ecological crisis. Attention is also paid to the fact that liberation theological perspectives developed in several Christian denominations and also in Jewish and Islamic contexts. An evaluation of how liberation theology influenced the Christian social movement in Québec illustrates the on-going importance of its approach and methodology. Much information can be gleaned from a careful reading of the articles and one also finds a good introductory bibliography. This is a very well presented thematic issue of Relations.

Personally, I would have been interested also in ideas about how contextual theologies such as liberation theologies can be articulated in the face of worldwide issues and how theologies that are connected to particular geographic regions and particular challenges interact when they are responding to planet-wide realities that require addressing both at local and global levels. How can liberation projects in these new contexts be articulated in their mutual interactions?


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