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The History and Politics of Latin American Theology: The Problem of Theology and Civil Society, explores the contributions of major Latin American theologians to the intellectual and pastoral discussion of Christian involvement in contemporary politics. The first volume in this trilogy examined the ecclesiastic setting created by the first generation of Liberation Theologians. This second volume picks up from here, examining a changed ecclesial setting and new theological and political challenges for Latin American theology. Here in volume II, the second and some of the third generation of Latin American theologians are examined alongside the political issues of human rights and 'the Disappeared'.This is a truly interdisciplinary book, in that where as religion and politics are often used as concepts that exist in separation, here they are devices for an interpretative project.
The History and Politics of Latin American Theology explores the contribution of major Latin American theologians to contemporary politics. Within the Latin American context there has been a rediscovery of a fluid and sometimes contradictory relationship between the practice of religion and the practice of politics. Those with religious belief, living in that context, were forced to respond to a crisis in politics, whereby their own beliefs, practices, and way of life were pushed to the limit by human rights violations and absolutist forms of government. Responses varied widely - from the confrontation against the state in Chile, to the dissenting silence in Argentina. Whilst the first volume deals with the complex roots of liberation theology and the issue of theological generations, this second volume explores the progression of LA theologians through their involvement in social movements and the relation between the Church and civil society, as society has changed and the Christian Church become less central within that society. Mario Aguilar explores the theological contribution of the Jesuits in general and of Jon Sobrino, Ignacio Ellacuria and Juan Luis Segundo in particular. Together with those individual contributions, he examines the theological challenge of human rights abuses, the disappeared and the conflict of governance in Chiapas. In its last part, this volume outlines the theological aesthetics of Pedro Casaldaliga together with the most recent contributions to Latin American theology by two Argentinean theologians of the Diaspora: Marcella Althaus-Reid and Ivan Petrella. Mario I Aguilar was born in Chile and is Professor of Religion and Politics, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics, at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He has published extensively on the history, theology and role of the churches in Latin America and Africa as well as on the contribution of the social sciences to theology and biblical studies. This is the second of his three volumes on the History and Politics of Latin American Theology, for SCM Press.
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