Liberation Theology (Encyclopedia of Science and Religion)
Liberation theology originated in Latin America during the 1960s in response to poverty, oppression, and failed development strategies. Methodologically it is described as theology "from below," beginning with social-historical reality and analysis and reflecting critically on it in the light of Christian tradition. Through a process of conscientisation, oppressed peoples are themselves involved in doing theology. The Exodus theme and the biblical motif of God's option for the poor are used as paradigms for reflection. Other theologies subsequently developed using the same methodology. These include black theology and feminist theology, which respond respectively to racism and sexism. All forms of liberation theology make use of social, economic, or political analysis in order to construct a stable interpretation of the conditions of life from which liberation is sought.
See also ECONOMICS; LIBERATION
JOHN W. DE GRUCHY