10 November 2020

God of Solidarity: Liberation Theology as Social Movement (Intensive)

In the latter half of the 20th century, a wave of liberation movements swept across the globe as colonized and exploited people undertook seismic struggles for self-determination. These movements had a profound influence not only on global politics, but also on intellectual trends and the political left, for whom “the masses” took on new significance and previous orthodoxies seemed out of step with the times. Theology was no exception, and from the 1970s on Christian theology would not only reinterpret itself through the lens of liberation around the world, but would also become a primary organizing force in the struggle for liberation.

While liberation theology is often studied for its doctrinal content, it is irreducibly social, historical, and political, emerging from and accountable to people’s movements. As a result, liberation theology was also severely disciplined by ecclesial and political power brokers. In this class, we will consider liberation theology in historical perspective, examining its relationship to a revolution in global Christianity and revolutions in various political contexts. We will also consider the papacy of Pope Francis, looking at the rehabilitation of several liberation theologians since 2013, with an eye toward the future and legacy of liberation theology in the 21st century.

All-online (NOTE dates changed: November 10 - December 17, 2020)

ICSD 132904 F20
Dean Dettloff
Remote (Online Synchronous)



*Attention TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.