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This is the credo and seminal text of the movement which was later characterized as liberation theology. The book burst upon the scene in the early seventies, and was swiftly acknowledged as a pioneering and prophetic approach to theology which famously made an option for the poor, placing the exploited, the alienated, and the economically wretched at the centre of a programme where "the oppressed and maimed and blind and lame" were prioritized at the expense of those who either maintained the status quo or who abused the structures of power for their own ends. This powerful, compassionate and radical book attracted criticism for daring to mix politics and religion in so explicit a manner, but was also welcomed by those who had the capacity to see that its agenda was nothing more nor less than to give "good news to the poor", and redeem God's people from bondage.
Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino, O.P. is a Peruvian philosopher, theologian, and Dominican priest regarded as one of the founders of liberation theology.
Cally Hammond, arguing to move Gustavo Gutierrez and Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza to their current positions: They kind of stand for the whole field of liberation theology.
David Atkinson: Gutierrez (b. 1928) is a Peruvian Roman Catholic priest, the leader and one of the fullest exponents of ‘liberation theology’, which developed in Latin America in the late 1960s in response to the struggles for liberation among the poor and oppressed. Influenced by Ernst Bloch’s use of Marx’s dictum ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world ... the point, however is to change it’, and Moltmann’s theology of hope, Gutierrez reconsiders the great themes of Christian faith – especially salvation – and approach to the Bible, from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed. The theological method is ‘critical reflection on praxis’. The mission of church is defined in terms of historical struggles for liberation.
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