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Introducing Liberation Theology [Paperback]

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Item Number 128997  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   99
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.21" Width: 5.37" Height: 0.36"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 1987
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  0883445506  
EAN  9780883445501  

Availability  0 units.

Introducing - Full Series Preview
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  Introducing Womanist Theology   $ 19.36   In Stock  
  Introducing Theologies of Religions   $ 21.25   In Stock  
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  Introducing Christianity   $ 19.36   In Stock  
  Introducing Black Theology of Liberation   $ 20.40   In Stock  
  Introducing Feminist Theology   $ 20.40   In Stock  

Item Description...
Two of Latin America's foremost theologians, brothers Leonardo and Clodovis Boff, have written this book for the general reader who asks, "What is liberation theology?" With stunning precision and clarity, they describe the sources of this 'theology in movement,' its main themes and challenges, its roots in Latin America and its reverberations throughout the world.

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More About Leonardo Boff & Clodovis Boff

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
accommodation's Great  Jan 15, 2007
Great Service, A Book and Bible Theology Every Bible Christian Should Read
Pretty Painful  Oct 14, 2006
If you are looking for a primary source to tell you something about liberation theology this is a good place to look. If you are looking for a quality work in it's own right, skip this one. please.

I have pretty much one major criticism of this book:

The whole thing is written in that awful "we think we are smarter than everyone because we use 'radical' sounding gobledy gook we learned as students in the 60's/70's" tone that somehow still persists in academia today. Expect unneccessary references to the proletariat, marxism, workers, communism etc.

I think that if the Boff brothers had written some personal narratives about their lives and work with "the poor," and their experiences with oppression this could have been a good read, and pretty inspiring. Instead, it's crammed with pretentious jargon implicitly proclaiming how original and inspiring we are supposed to find this "new" sensitivity the plight of the poor.

It was obviously written not just to call attention to the plight of oppressed people, but also to do some academic strutting, and fluff those shiny intellectual tailfeathers in the face of the establishment in Rome.
Unfortunately, when you do that kind of strutting you get censored by Rome, and the polarizing arguements that follow bury any nuanced and rational understanding of your works' strengths and weaknesses. You get left with hardliners who think Libertion Theology was pretty much a communist conspiracy, and shrill aging hippies who think Liberation Theology was the only current in the Church that ever had any concern for "the poor."
Here's a thought: next time someone in the Church works with poor people, try not using words like marxism, protelariat, radical, laboring class, dialectical, anarchy, collectivism, etc. At least don't string them into mega-word phrases like the "anarchcollective-dialectical imperative of the laboring classes." Use your own, normal person, non-foofy academia words, and your work just might have a chance of not being condemned. Or at least it might get a fair hearing.

I can't decided if i hated reading this or "Pedagogy of the Opressed" more.
Exceedingly Dry  Sep 21, 2006
This book dwells on the justification of Liberation Theology within the framework of the Catholic Church. The three levels of the theology are explained, and justified by drawing within the history of Catholic dogma. I also would have liked this book to contain some actual experiences, some historical references to the personalities involved, but this is not that kind of book. The author is exacting to demonstrate to the reader the steps involved in forming a new Theology. The topics and important points throughout the book are very well laid out usually in enumerated paragraphs. At times it is like reading an outline and a reader may have trouble staying focused. The book did an admirable job Introducing Liberation Theology per the title. As for maintaining reader interest, it is very dry. It was an eyeopener to see the steps involved in attempting to justify a new Theology The author's style is "to the point". I chose this book because the author is credited with being one of the founders of Liberation Theology.

Liberating points of view...  Jan 12, 2004
Leonardo and Clodovis Boff are liberation theologians, priests, and brothers who have devoted much of their careers to the pursuit and practice of liberation theology in the church and in the world. Leonardo Boff is a professor in Petropolis, Brazil; Clodovis Boff is a professor in Sao Paulo, Brazil - both have used their educational platforms to spread the knowledge of liberation theology from a Latin American base-community perspective throughout the world; however, as liberation theology is a praxis-oriented theology, the Boff brothers continue to work among the poor people (of which there are many in Brazil) to bring about the realisation as best possible the liberating message of the gospel.

In fewer than 100 pages, the Boffs give a succinct and clear overview of liberation theology - this is a theology of the poor, in which the gospel message and the character of Christ are seen as being in solidarity with the poor. Liberation theology is complex, but the Boffs reduce it to simple, understandable tenets.

There are three levels of liberation theology, according to the authors: professional, pastoral, and popular. The professional level involves academic theorists and clergy administrator types; the pastoral level involves the teaching and compassionate action of clergy and lay ministers; however, it is the popular level that is most important here, where the action is most involved in the world. Liberation theology sometimes involves confrontation - when Oscar Romero stood up to the oppressors in Central America, he was engaging in all three levels of liberation theology.

In succeeding chapters, the authors look at the primary themes of liberation theology, a brief history of the development of liberation ideas from political, social, ecclesial and theological roots, and the spread of liberation ideas worldwide. Liberation theology is sometimes seen in purely political terms, particularly in Western seminaries and churches, because those of us in the West have lost the ability to think in theological terms as a matter of course; to be fair, however, liberation theology does intend to challenge the status quo of political and economic relationships, much to the discomfort of those in the West. Liberation theologians from inside the Roman Catholic church have had to endure periods of officially-sanctioned 'silence' and have often been branded 'Marxists' as a denigration of their theological standing.

Churches of all sorts have a love/hate relationship with liberation theology. Large and small, catholic and protestant, liberation theology has a tendency to challenge existing relationships between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, gender roles, and more. Liberation theology from the beginnings in Latin America have spread to encompass more communities - feminist theologians, African-American theologians, Hispanic theologians, and more have drawn inspiration from the idea that God has a preferential care for the powerless and oppressed, and that many stories in scripture, particularly in the gospel messages, show God's care in this direction. Jesus was always more concerned for the poor than the rich, for the common people than the kings and ruling class, and liberation theologians pick up on this fact.

The Boffs set out their hope for a truly free society, a dream of liberation for all people from the various forces that oppress. This book is a wonderful introduction to this very influential and occasionally controversial theology, from two of the leading lights in the field professionally, pastorally, and among the people they love.

Missing the personal experience  Aug 27, 2003
The Boff brothers, Leonardo and Clodovis, have written a scholarly text suitable for the theology student. Their compendium outlines liberation theology by clearly defining the function, structure, themes, and history with adequate explanations of theological terms that would otherwise baffle the non-indoctrinated. This book is written for the reader who has an interest in knowing the socio-analytical, hermeneutical, and practical mediations. Get the message?

If the purpose of the book is to inform, then it is adequate. But it will not win any advocates for the liberation theology movement. With the exception of the opening pages which describe the desperation of the poor with two heart rending experiences, this book is dry tinder in search of burning embers of the human element. The Boffs have many experiences with the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized that could have brought to life the conceptual and the abstract.


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