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In this analysis, the author contends that the Eucharist is the Church's response to the use of torture as a social discipline. He develops a theology of the political which presents torture as one instance of a larger confrontation of powers over bodies, both individual and social. He argues that a Christian practice of the political is embodied in Jesus' own torture at the hands of the powers of this world. The analysis of torture therefore is situated within wider discussions in the fields of ecclesiology and the state, social ethics and human rights, and sacramental theology. The book focuses on the experience of Chile and the Catholic Church there, before and during the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, 1973-1990. The book uses this example to examine the theoretical bases of twentieth-century social catholicism and its inability to resist the disciplines of the state, in contrast to a truer Christian practice of the political in the Eucharist.
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