Organizing as the Occupation of Liberation Theology
Critiques of economics have been an important part of liberation theology from its inception, not only in the articulations of dependency theory in Latin America but also in early feminist and black liberation theology in the United States. But, as Ivan Petrella’s Beyond Liberation Theology demonstrates, liberation theology in the United States has failed to maintain a systemic economic critique. The economic crisis and the Occupy protests, however, have forced economics back to the foreground and suggest that the urgency of an economic critique in both the academy and church has not diminished. In this article, I make four proposals for revitalizing liberation theology’s economic critique. First, liberation theologies need to reengage with ongoing social movements of resistance to economic inequality; second, I contend that employing critical theories in response to these movements to challenge the ideals that sustain systemic economic injustice is essential to liberation theology; third, liberation theologies must openly resist theologies that legitimate systemic injustice; and, fourth, I propose rethinking theology through the praxis of organizing.
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Also Published In
- Union Seminary Quarterly Review
- Union Theological Seminary