Liberation Theology and Its Critics

Toward an Assessment

By Arthur F. McGovern, SJ

Liberation Theology and Its Critics

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  • ISBN: 9781606088937
  • Pages: 304
  • Publication Date: 8/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $35.00
Web Price: $28.00
Web Price: $28.00

Liberation Theology and Its Critics

Toward an Assessment

By Arthur F. McGovern, SJ

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781606088937
  • Pages: 304
  • Publication Date: 8/1/2009
  • Retail Price: $35.00
Web Price: $28.00

About-

From its beginnings, liberation theology has provoked a wide and diverse range of responses from a multitude of critics-theological, methodological, political, ecclesiastical. Liberation Theology and Its Critics is a comprehensive and systematic explication of these diverse criticisms, as well as a reasoned and rigorous defense of liberation theology. McGovern states his aim thus: to "understand better the world of Latin America and the culture and conditions which prompt a liberation theology, while at the same time giving expression to some of the misgivings that many US Americans experience when reading about liberation theology."

Liberation Theology and Its Critics begins by discussing the place of theology itself in liberation theology. The book offers an historical overview, shows us what liberation theologians see as most distinctive in their work, addresses the biblical interpretations and major areas of theology stressed by liberation theologians, and discusses other theologians' critiques.

Next, McGovern explicates the use of social and political analysis in liberation theology, which has been one of the areas of particular controversy. He focuses on such issues as dependency theory, Marxism, "class struggle," socialism, and the Nicaraguan revolution, addressing throughout the concerns raised by a range of critics, from the Vatican to Michael Novak.

Finally, McGovern explores the role of the church and how liberation theology is lived out in practice. He examines base communities, ecclesiology, current political trends in Latin America, the varying status of liberation theology as well as its most recent developments. McGovern demonstrates that liberation theology encompasses a wide spectrum of theologians with different styles and emphases. It requires careful study, non-polemical debate, and an honest effort to present the views of both liberation theologians and their critics fairly. McGovern's book will be the benchmark against which subsequent work is measured.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"I applaud this sympathetic defense of liberation theology, which at the same time treats its critics with civility and seriousness. It reflects the new sophistication concerning such key terms as 'socialism,' 'dependency,' and 'enterprise.' And for all who care about the poor in Latin America, it broadens common ground-the primacy of faith, the need for true democracy, and the urgency of economic vitality from the bottom up."
-Michael Novak
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

"This is a very important book. It is the first study of Latin American liberation theology that examines the theological literature from a political-science perspective. . . . The study of the political implications of liberation theology and the debates surrounding it is enormously important."
-Gregory Baum
McGill University

"Arthur McGovern has now written the book we have been waiting for: the best overall analysis of the full-range of topics and authors in liberation theology. His book breaks new ground in analyzing the socio-political analysis and method in liberation theology. From now on anyone who wants to treat of liberation theology will have to come to grips with this book."
-John A Coleman, SJ
Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley California

Contributors-

Arthur F. McGovern, SJ

Bio(s)-

Arthur F. McGovern, SJ (1929-2000) was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Detroit. He is the author of Marxism: An American Christian Perspective.

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