Liberation Theology at the Crossroads: Democracy or Revolution?

Paperback | April 1, 1994

byPaul E. Sigmund

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Liberation theology originated in Catholic Latin America at the end of the 1960s in response to prevalent conditions of poverty and oppression. Its basic tenet was that it is the primary duty of the church to seek to promote social and economic justice. Since that time it has grown ininfluence, spreading to other areas of the Third World, along with bitter controversy about its ties to Marxist ideology and violent revolution. Drawing on both English and Spanish sources, this critical study examines the history, method, and doctrines of liberation theology. Sigmund considers themovement's origins in political circumstances in Latin America and provides case studies of its role in such events as the revolution and counter-revolution in Chile, and in the revolutionary movements in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Examining the thought of major liberation theologians, as well asthe critical responses of the Vatican, Sigmund shows that liberation theology is a complex phenomenon, comprising a variety of kinds and degrees of radicalism. He discerns a general trend away from the Marxist rhetoric that has often characterized the movement in the past and towards the kind ofgrassroots populist reform typified by the Basic Christian Communities Movement.

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From Our Editors

Drawing on both English and Spanish sources, this critical study examines the history, method, and doctrines of Liberation Theology. Sigmund considers the movement's origins in political circumstances in, Latin America; provides case studies of its role in Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, and Nicaragua; and critically examines the thought o...

From the Publisher

Liberation theology originated in Catholic Latin America at the end of the 1960s in response to prevalent conditions of poverty and oppression. Its basic tenet was that it is the primary duty of the church to seek to promote social and economic justice. Since that time it has grown ininfluence, spreading to other areas of the Third W...

Paul E. Sigmund is at Princeton University.

other books by Paul E. Sigmund

Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8.19 × 5.51 × 0.71 inPublished:April 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019507274X

ISBN - 13:9780195072747

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From Our Editors

Drawing on both English and Spanish sources, this critical study examines the history, method, and doctrines of Liberation Theology. Sigmund considers the movement's origins in political circumstances in, Latin America; provides case studies of its role in Chile, Brazil, El Salvador, and Nicaragua; and critically examines the thought of the major liberation theologians and the position of the Vatican.

Editorial Reviews

"Lucid and well-written history of this radical theology, examining it with a balance and insight rarely found among academics."--Crisis