Sara HeistFollow

Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2017


College of Arts and Sciences; School of Education


English--Teacher Certification; Spanish--Teacher Certification


Liberation Theology, Reading, Perspectives, Worldview, Catholic, Evangelical


Comparative Literature | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Latin American Languages and Societies | Modern Languages


The critical dialogue sparked by Latin American liberation theology in the 1970s has involved diverse authors from various creeds and cultures. Although dozens of critics have offered an analysis of both Liberation Theology and its foundational text, Gustavo Gutiérrez’s A Theology of Liberation, the discussion has not reached consensus. Some critics, such as Ray Hundley, Ronald Nash, C. F. H. Henry, Harold O. J. Brown and Michael Novak, dismiss the movement as a hopeless entanglement of social goodwill, economic ignorance, and insidious Marxist philosophy. Others, among them the Catholic Magisterium, Michael Löwy, Juan Carlos Scannone, and João B. Chaves, argue that Liberation Theology offers a meaningful contribution to Christian thought and social practice. Their divergent conclusions imply that fundamental worldview differences exist among the authors. The differences and similarities shared by Catholic and evangelical criticisms of Liberation Theology can be attributed in part to cultural and religious beliefs about the economy and textual authority. These presuppositions mediate all readings of Gutiérrez’s A Theology of Liberation.