Crossing the Waters of Freedom
Religion & Liberty Online

Crossing the Waters of Freedom

acton-commentary-blogimage“Although its roots are often attributed to Latin America, liberation theology was born in German schools of theology in the early twentieth century,” says Ismael Hernandez in this week’s Acton Commentary. “From this birthplace in the ivory towers of the Old World, priests and theologians brought it to the jungles and plains of the New.”

Troubled by the genuine needs of the natives, these populist theologians challenged the pre-capitalist system that perpetuated the poverty of Latin lands. Energized by their vision of change and social justice and eager to make a mark of their own, they went to the favelas and barrios where desperate poverty cried out to God. There they found no solid middle class and no traditions of democracy, only abject poverty on one side and heedless opulence on the other. In the Church they found the piety of folk Catholicism with no social conscience and a structural alignment with elites. They offered as a solution a concoction of Marxist analysis and Christian praxis.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).