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Cite similarities or differences in the ways Gustavo Gutiérrez and Pope Benedict XVI address imbalances in social justice. How does their work reflect the relationship of the good of the individual to the common good?

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Gustavo Gutiérrez is known as the founder of liberation theology, a line of thinking in the Christian tradition that borrows concepts from the Marxist economic tradition. Where the Marxist tradition speaks of the necessary revolt of the lower class against a controlling system of social, political, and economic power, liberation theology synthesizes these economic metaphors with Catholic appeals to the need to support the poor and oppressed. These Catholic ideas stem from biblical antecedents in which God is said to have stated that loving and helping those who are weakest forms the ultimate criterion for admission into heaven.

Pope Benedict XVI supported Gutiérrez and sympathized with his philosophy's imperative to support the poor. However, he rejected Marxist thought as a whole, identifying more with contemporary institutional Catholicism's capitalist sentiments and conceiving of charity as sufficient for addressing the plight of the poor. Gutiérrez, meanwhile, conceived of poverty as a systemic issue that must be solved with economic interventions outside of modern capitalism.

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