Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 534
Liberation Theology/Gutiérrez: Gutiérrez did not invent liberation theology, but he was the first to write a fundamental monograph on it. Background: in the late 1960s, student movements emerged in Europe, the USA, Mexico and Japan which adopted central theoretical elements of Marxism (Eurocommunism, Trotskyism, Maoism). At the same time, in the 1960s and 1970s there were military dictatorships or at least authoritarian regimes almost everywhere in Latin America.
Def Theology/Gutiérrez: a wisdom reflection that is also dependent on intensive dialogue with the social sciences. Theology is understood as a "critical reflection" of committed Christian practice and is therefore always the second, not the first step. This inductive approach corresponds to the approach of the Second Vatican Council, which saw the Church's task as "to search for the signs of time and to interpret them in the light of the Gospel" (Gaudium et spes 4) (1).
In the end we find the much quoted statement, "that the theology of liberation may not give us
Brocker I 535
a new theme but rather a new way of doing theology" (2). Gutiérrez develops this position in intensive dialogue with modern philosophical and theological thinkers such as Maurice Blondel, Michel de Certeau, Roger Garaudy, Antonio Gramsci, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Jean-Pierre Jossua, Karl Rahner, Johann Baptist Metz and Harvey Cox, but also refers to the young Joseph Ratzinger.
Brocker I 543
Liberation theology was competently discussed in Rahner 1977(3); International Theological Commission 1977(4).
VsGutiérrez: Cardinal Franz Hengsbach and the political scientist Lothar Bossle rejected the idea in an extremely polemical and ideological way. (Hengsbach 1975(5)): The opponents of liberation theology accused it of a naive adoption of Marxist ideology, the glorification of revolutionary violence, the rejection of ecclesiastical authority, a primacy of practice over revelation of belief and theological horizontalism.
RatzingerVsGutiérrez: (Ratzinger 1984(6). In March 1983 he made serious accusations against Gutiérrez, but these did not lead to a conviction thanks to the intervention of Rahner and others.
VsTheology of liberation: the sad climax of intra-church conflicts was the imposition of a one-year ban on speaking and teaching for Leonardo Boff (due to his church-critical book "Church, Charism and Power"; Boff 1985 (7)), (cf. Greinacher 1985 (8)).


1.http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_ge.html
2. Gustavo Gutiérrez, Teología de la Liberación. Perspectivas, Lima 1971 (zehnte, neu bearbeitete und erweiterte Auflage: Lima/Salamanca 1988). Dt.: Gustavo Gutiérrez, Theologie der Befreiung, München/Mainz 1973 (zehnte, neu bearbeitete und erweiterte Auflage: Mainz 1992), S. 83.
3. Rahner, Karl (Hg.), Befreiende Theologie. Der Beitrag Lateinamerikas zur Theologie der Gegenwart, Stuttgart u. a. 1977.
4. Internationale Theologenkommission, Theologie der Befreiung, Einsiedeln 1977.
5. Hengsbach, Franz/López Trujillo, Alfonso (Hg.), Kirche und Befreiung, Aschaffenburg 1975.
6. Ratzinger, Joseph, »Die Theologie der Befreiung. Voraussetzung, Probleme und Herausforderungen«, in: Die neue Ordnung 38/4, 1984, 285-295.
7. Boff, Leonardo, Kirche: Charisma und Macht. Studien zu einer streitbaren Ekklesiologie, Düsseldorf 1985.
8. Greinacher, Norbert (Hg.), Konflikt um die Theologie der Befreiung. Diskussion und Dokumentation, Zürich/Einsiedeln/Köln 1985.

Gerhard Kruip, „Gustavo Gutiérrez, Theologie der Befreiung“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2ß18


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gutiérrez, Gustavo
Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-07-21
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