Since the 1973 publication of Gustavo Gutiérrez’s groundbreaking work A Theology of Liberation, liberation theology's central premise of the preferential option for the poor has become one of the most important yet controversial theological themes of the twentieth century. As the situation for many of the world’s poor worsens, it becomes ever more important to ensure that the option for the poor remains not only a vibrant theological concept but also a practical framework for living out the gift and challenge of Christian faith. The Preferential Option for the Poor beyond Theology draws on a diverse group of contributors to explore how disciplines as varied as law, economics, politics, the environment, science, liberal arts, film, and education can help us understand putting a commitment to the option for the poor into practice.
The central focus of the book revolves around the question: How can one live a Christian life in a world of destitution? The contributors address the theological concept of the option for the poor as well as the ways it can shape our social, economic, political, educational, and environmental approaches to poverty. Their creative examples serve as an inspiration to all those who are seeking to put their talents at the service of human need and the building of a more just and humane world.
“Daniel G. Groody and Gustavo Gutiérrez have given us a series of testimonies to the significance of the preferential option for the poor in the lives of authors writing from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. By fostering such interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary conversation, the authors deepen our understanding of the concept and show us its relevance outside of theology. That the poor become subjects of history, and not only its objects, lies at the core of the liberation theological approach of Gustavo Gutiérrez; it reflects an approach to challenges that is at least as necessary as our technological, political, and economic approaches and, by so doing, touches on important theological issues.”
—Jacques Haers, Catholic University of Leuven