A major voice in liberation theology and once silenced for a year by the pope for his outspoken views, Leonardo Boff here presents a collection of his controversial essays attacking poverty and political persecution. As a Brazilian, Boff is witness to, and active in, the liberation movement within the Catholic Church in Latin America. He claims that the Church there is redefining itself as a modern, populist movement.
"It is [in Latin America]," writes Boff, "that the Church of the future is being molded. There are more Catholics in Latin America than on any other continent. Soon more than half of the members of the Church will live here. European countries, with their demographic decline and meager religious creativity - their theology, liturgy, and pastoral ministry consisting almost entirely of syntheses of material drawn from the past - are gradually losing their universal relevance . . . It is in Latin America that the Church's principal new challenges are appearing. What is the relationship between the gospel and the liberation of the oppressed? How can Christian love be reconciled with participation in the wild class struggle taking place around us? How can Christianity help overcome the relations of international injustice prevailing in the unequal relationships between rich countries and poor ones?"
Advocating a sympathetic but critical relationship between liberation theology and Marxism, Boff claims that historical materialism is the social - scientific method conducive to liberation theology. He also discusses the political dimension of faith, the Church's role in the struggle for human rights, the nature of the popular Church, the rights of the poor and the oppressed, and the kind of future they may anticipate. Boff's bold reflections on these and other issues make vital reading for anyone concerned with faith and justice in today's world.