Liberation Theology and Marxist Economics


  • Fred J. Currier



Marxism, Philosophy


It takes no formal initiation to enter the ranks of Liberation Theology. What it does take is a spiritual commitment to the liberation of the poor and oppressed in Latin America and the placement of Christian theology at the service of this liberation. Theologians of liberation have encountered the poor who are exploited in a society that is created by dependent capitalism, and thus they generally espouse the demand, expressed by Jose Miguez Bonino, for "revolutionary action aimed at changing the basic economic, social, and cultural structures." At the Medellin Conference in 1968 the bishops of Latin America embraced this thrust toward liberation, denouncing "international monopolies and the international imperialism of money" as the cause of Latin American dependence. The bishops decried the "institutionalized violence of the status quo" and they stated that development for the poor required "urgent and profoundly renovating transformations" of the world economic order. A decade later, meeting at Puebla in 1979, the bishops reaffirmed the Church's "duty to proclaim the liberation of millions of human beings." Puebla's final statements recognize the impoverishment of masses of people as a situation of "social sinfulness" which is "permanently violating the dignity of the person."

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