Liberation Theology

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  • Liberation Theology
    • Definition: A movement that emerged within the Catholic Church in Latin America at the end of the 1960s with a strong commitment to the poor and opposition to military dictatorships.
    • Major change of Direction for the Catholic Church in Latin America.
      • It had been extremely conservative institution.
      • It encouraged a fatalistic acceptance of poverty and supporting wealthy elites and military dictatorships.
    • The factors that led to it's emergence were:
      • Growth of rural poverty and urban slums.
      • Human rights abuses following military take-overs, such as false imprisonment. torture and death squads murdering political opponents,
        • Example: In Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
      • The growing commitment among Catholic priests to an ideology that supported the poor and oppressed violations of human rights.
    • The emphasis in liberation theology is on "praxis," (practical action guided by theory.)
      • For example: priests helped the poor to establish support groups, called "base communities," and helped workers and peasants to fight oppression under the protection of the church.
    • Set out society
    • In the 1970s, Catholic priests actively resisted state terror in Latin America.
      • However, in the 1980s, the Catholic church's official attitude changed.
        • Pope John Paul condemned LT because he believed that it was likened to Marxism.


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