Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hermeneuticotheological Methods of Liberation Theology and Evangelical Theology in the Latin American Context

Here is the first paper I wrote for my first class, under Professor Gene Green, in the graduate program I did at Wheaton College. It's by no means the best piece of writing I've done. Yet, after a fashion, I have a peculiar affection for it. Mind you, as it was the first paper I produced, there are formatting issues, not least with how I cited my sources.

Introduction and Background: Liberation and Evangelical Theologies in Latin America

Both evangelical theology (ET) and liberation theology (LT) have left their mark on Latin America in the past several decades.  The rise of each, although occurring at about the same time and because of some of the same cultural precursors, has occurred because of diverse influences and convictions.  Likewise the hermeneutical and theological methodologies deployed by each, while developing side by side and bearing some similarities, have come about because of diverse influences and convictions.  This essay attempts to think through and assess the foundational assumptions and principles of each method and offer some biblical-theological reflections.

Vatican II (1962-1965) with its watershed statements about political, economic, and social problems in the world and Gutiérrez’ A Theology of Liberation appear to be two important loci for the beginnings of LT.  Vatican II spawned a conference of Latin American Bishops held in Medellín in 1968 that resulted in “a new hermeneutic” that interprets the Scriptures “from below.”[1]  Theologian Gustavo Gutiíerrez, among others, began to guide this interpretation of Scripture “from below,” not least through his book A Theology of Liberation.[2] 

As Gutiérrez put it when LT was on the ascendancy, “The historical womb from which liberation theology has emerged is the life of the poor and, in particular, of the Christian communities that have arisen within the bosom of the present-day Latin American church.”[3]  This statement highlights the crucial place of the Latin American context, with all its sociopolitical and socioeconomic realities, and the crucial place of the poor in the Latin American church.
Evangelical theology has its roots in the movement of Protestantism to Latin America in the nineteenth century through Protestant missionary labors[4] and its present shape, power, and influence in the formation of the Latin American Evangelical Fraternity in 1970, led by René Padilla and Orlando Costas.[5]  Earlier in the twentieth century, the historic worldwide missionary conference of 1910 that was held in Edinburgh was attended by some evangelicals who understood that Latin America needed the gospel despite the majority position that it did not because of widespread Roman Catholicism.[6]  These evangelicals stirred up Protestant missionary longings and labors in subsequent years.    
In this essay, unless otherwise noted, the words hermeneutical and method are being used as they seem generally to be used in the literature: that is, rather loosely to mean something like the standpoint from which and the way in which one goes about doing theology.  The word theology is used diversely in the literature.  For example, Gutiérrez defines theology thus: “critical reflection on humankind, on basic human principles.”[7]  Compare now, for example, the definition given by Costas: “The term ‘theology’ means literally a rational discourse about God.”[8]  He then expands on this and calls it “the intelligence of faith” and “that reflection which seeks to understand the content of faith and its implications for life.”[9]  Costas uses the word according to its etymology and historical usage.  Liberation theologians tend not to use it this way.  Instead, they tend to give it an anthropological and sociological meaning.  Praxis, an important term, is defined differently by different people as well.  Costas, for example, an evangelical, defines praxis “as action based on reflection, or the actualization of theory.”[10]  Liberation theologians define praxis in a fairly narrow way, generally speaking, as liberating action for the poor, and make reflection a second stage.  Their definitions tell one about their respective methodologies. 

Some say that the hermeneutic or method of LT is simply the theory of the popular reading among base ecclesial communities of the poor in Latin America.[11]  Others, however, do not directly equate LT with popular reading of the Bible among the poor since there are professional liberation theologians with sophisticated training and methods and more pastorally oriented liberation theologians who have considerable training doing LT.  This essay deals primarily with what has been called the professional level of doing theology and not so much the pastoral or popular levels, though it interacts with these some.  However, as Boff and Boff stated in 1987, “Liberation theology is a cultural and ecclesial phenomenon by no means restricted to a few professional theologians.”[12]  And people doing LT are by definition interacting with the base ecclesial communities of the poor, or they are not engaged in LT.     
This essay also focuses on the hermeneutical and theological methods of LT and ET during their more formative, foundational stages, that is, in the 1970s and 1980s.  In more recent times LT has become rather passé or, perhaps better said, has been displaced by what is called cultural criticism.[13]  Yet its influence has not totally disappeared. 

Hermeneuticotheological Methods of Liberation Theology and Evangelical Theology

For the liberation theologian, praxis is primary.  The first step of theology is the life of faith, which means engagement with the poor, specifically, in the process of revolutionary sociopolitical liberation of the poor.[14]  The essential point of the method of LT is this link with specific practice.[15]  Its “novel” or “original” characteristic is, according to Clodovis Boff, that at root there is an encounter with the poor accompanied by “the shock, the rebellion, and the commitment of this encounter.”[16]  This is where, and only where, meaningful theologizing and interpretation can take place.  Anything else is deemed cold, detached, lifeless, abstract, remote.

Gutiérrez, regarded by many as the fountainhead of LT, says this of LT: “Human action [is] the point of departure for all reflection.”[17]  Rather pointedly he states that LT “seeks to show that unless we make an ongoing commitment to the poor, who are the privileged members of the reign of God, we are far removed from the Christian message.”[18]
When saying that praxis is primary in LT, however, what is actually given priority is an analysis of the sociopolitical situation of the Latin American context.  This is done to varying degrees while wearing Marxist ideological lenses.  Analyzing the socioeconomic situation, the liberation theologian often asks this sort of question of Marx: “What can you tell us about the situation of poverty and ways of overcoming it?”[19]  But Boff and Boff are eager to add that Marxism is used as an instrument and is submitted to “the judgment of the poor and their cause, and not the other way around.”[20]  After a Marxist analysis and listening to the poor, praxis is then undertaken in relation to the poor, aiming at social transformation. It is said repeatedly and emphatically that the theological enterprise is not possible without some engagement with the world of the oppressed.  Such contact is the sine qua non for acquiring “a new theological sensitivity.”[21]
The rationale for this engagement also includes this point: “The fundamental locus for interpreting the Bible is the people of God.”[22]  The poor, the oppressed and marginalized, are especially in view.  It is claimed that “the hermeneutical option for the poor” is God’s option.[23]  The poor are the “hermeneutical key” of both life and the Bible.[24]  Apart from identification with, working for, and listening to the poor and oppressed, no authentic theology can be undertaken. 
The context is also considered crucial for interpretation in LT because God is thought to speak to his people through the events of the day.  It is granted that these events are to be interpreted in the light of the Word.  Since God is acting in history, it is taught, the faithful must see and presuppose this.[25] Thus it follows: “The main objective of [a liberation theology] reading is not an interpretation of the Bible, but of an interpretation of life with the aid of the Bible.”[26]  Self-consciously then the happenings of day—particularly in relation to the poor and oppressed—are providing the canvas upon which biblical strokes are providing color. 
The next step is critical reflection on praxis in the light of the Word.  Interaction with biblical light occurs in the light of experiencing and analyzing and laboring in the situation of the poor.[27]  The poor and their sociopolitical context are the lens or grid through which Scripture is viewed and interpreted.  There is a “dialectic” between the Word of God (faith or theory) and the poor (love or practice), an “unceasing interplay” between the oppressed and the Bible in a hermeneutical circle.[28]  The poor are viewed as privileged hermeneutical agents of biblical reflection.[29]  And the “canonical” or preferred books within the canon are Exodus, the Prophets, the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation, as they tend, it is thought, to address most directly the sociopolitical and economic issues of Latin America.[30]
Gutiérrez says this about reflection on the Word coming after praxis: “When I call reflection in the strict sense a second stage of theological work, I am by no means saying that [it] is secondary.  Discourse about God comes second because faith comes first and is the source of theology. . . .”[31]  So it makes sense then that he should define theological reflection as “the understanding of faith.”[32]
The goal of LT has already been mentioned.  It is liberating praxis, revolutionary change for the poor and oppressed politically, sociologically, economically.  There is a priority of acting over explaining.  This whole process of sociological analysis, engagement with the poor, reflection upon the Word, and liberating praxis is then circled around again and again in a hermeneutical circle, which is a term widely used and coined by Juan Luis Segundo.[33]   
Now pride of place in the theological method of Latin American ET is given to the Word of God as ultimate authority.[34]  And what is usually meant by this is not merely the text of Holy Scripture, although the text is certainly included.  What is usually meant is God’s spoken Word in Christ, the gospel of the kingdom.  Samuel Escobar says that the biblical concept and reality of the kingdom of God is the theological key that unlocks the door that enters into understanding of God’s actions and the church’s mission.[35]  He adds that without a robust vision of the biblical kingdom of God, theological poverty necessarily follows.[36]  Padilla says that the hermeneutical key of God’s inscripturated talk is “the person and work of Christ and the saving intention of God.”[37]
There are also qualifications for the interpreter or interpreting community in ET.  Padilla asserts rather emphatically that “the interpreter’s attitude toward God is decisive in his understanding of the Word.”[38]  Escobar confesses that there is foundationally a confessional element that is the necessary starting place for interpretation.[39]  He says that the interpreter approaches the text conscious of participation in a people, the Church, born anew by God’s action in the resurrection of the Christ.[40]  In other words, the interpreter approaches a text in the context of kingdom realities.  So for evangelical theology in Latin America, hermeneutics has a participatory Christological, redemptive, and kingdom center.  Escobar expresses concern over approaches that destroy this Christological core.[41]    
Contextualization is also critical for an authentic ET.  Theology is always related to life in Latin American evangelical theology[42] and “the knowledge of God is possible only when the Word becomes incarnate . . . in the situation of the interpreter.”[43]  But there is a serious attempt to deploy a grammaticohistorical analysis of the biblical text to understand the original context before moving to the present day context.  Padilla says this:

The raw material of theology is not abstract concepts but rather a message concerning historical   events the narration and interpretation of which are colored by the Semitic and Greco-Roman cultures in which the biblical authors lived.  The initial task of theology is exegetical, and      exegesis demands the construction of a bridge between the interpreter and the biblical authors by means of the historical method, the basic presupposition of which is that the Word of God cannot be understood apart from the cultural and linguistic situations in which it was originally given.[44] 

The original context is therefore understood as just as important as the theologian’s context.  The ET method also believes that it is fruitful to interact with the history of interpretation and the tradition of the Church.[45]  René Padilla also speaks about how the interpreter must be conscious of his or her own ecclesiastical and cultural traditions to maintain a critical self-awareness of one’s own locatedness and the biases and limitations associated with it.[46]   

Partly due to necessity and partly due to conviction, the entire church community is involved in the hermeneutical and theological task in Latin America in ET.  Padilla speaks of the importance of the communal aspect of doing theology among the trained and untrained alike.[47]  It is not enough for the professional theologians or the pastors to engage in theological formulation and biblical reflection.  He also speaks of pneumatic hermeneutics, emphasizing that understanding is not a matter of mere technique.  No, it requires the internal testimony and illumination of the Spirit.  And like the Reformers of the sixteenth century, Padilla sees the activity of the Word and the activity of the Spirit as inseparable.  Both go together; both are essential in the method of ET.

Another fundamental element in the theological method of ET is that the aim of theology is the engine of theologizing.  In the article Biblical Foundations, Padilla says that there ought to be a biblical foundation that not only deploys a grammaticohistorical exegetical method but also one that harmonizes with the purpose of biblical revelation—namely, that God’s Word aims at creating a people who are zealous for good works.[48]  Elsewhere he says that theology must be for obedience to the Lord Jesus.[49]  Moreover, he says, if there is to be a biblical foundation for theology, there must be missiological hermeneutics.[50]  “A missiological hermeneutic,” according to Padilla, “takes as its starting point the fact that the Word of God has been given for the whole world and for all generations.”[51]

Comparison of the Methodologies

It is clear that in both the ET method and the LT method there is a commitment to contextual action and to interacting with Scripture as an authoritative source.  Neither method theologizes in a detached manner, and both go to Scripture for divine illumination and instruction for practice in the present-day context.  Both evangelical and liberation practitioners see a relation between reflection and praxis.  These are some similarities, which are good.

But while there are some similarities, the differences in methodology, particularly at the foundational level, are quite significant.  First of all, LT starts with a Marxist analysis of the sociopolitical situation and liberation of the poor.  This is virtually equated with faith.  It is only from here that theological reflection can occur.  ET, on the other hand, starts with the gospel of the kingdom preached from the Scriptures, being born again through the risen Christ into the church community, and a certain disposition toward God through Christ.  Only then does the evangelical theologian think that the social situation can be assessed rightly and the Word heard, understood, and applied.  For ET, there is not an indifference to the social situation, only a subordination of it to Scripture.  The context cannot provide all the categories for the church’s mission, though it must be engaged in obedience to the Lord Jesus for the good of society. 
Next, LT does not give a prominent place to a grammaticohistorical exegesis of the Bible, while ET does.  ET does not give a prominent place to any particular ideology for analyzing the social situation, while LT does.  LT defines the theological and hermeneutical task first in sociopolitical, economic, and anthropocentric terms.  ET defines the theological and hermeneutical task first in gospel and Christocentric terms.  ET in principle gives equal weight to all of Scripture, but LT gives preference to certain books that are most relevant for the agenda of liberation.   
The aims of the two theologies are also different.  Whereas LT aims chiefly at the liberation of the poor, ET aims more broadly at obedience to the Lord Jesus which includes gospel proclamation and the transformation of society.

Critical Biblical-Theological Reflection

Now for the strengths of each method.  In LT application is favored over explanation.[52]  Application ought surely to be the aim of all theologizing, and theologizing ought also to be carried out in the path of obedience, both of which are stated aims of LT.  These elements of LT, which are doubtless strengths, sound like what the great English Puritan John Owen said hundreds of years ago: “As we learn all to practice, so we learn much by practice.”[53]
Another strength of LT is the vigorous holding together of what many modern day North Atlantic Western Christians divorce: knowledge and practice, faith and action.  It also takes very seriously our presuppositions and cultural, ideological, and ecclesiastical location.  This likewise is too often neglected in North Atlantic Christianity.
Some strengths of ET are the centrality of the Word, the kingdom framework, dependence on the Spirit and Scripture, and commitment to contextualization.  The charge of Latin American theologians against the theologizing of the North Atlantic is that it is too philosophical and detached from action, too focused on orthodoxy and not orthopraxy.  While true of much American and European theology, this charge would seem to be ungrounded against Latin American evangelical theology, which is robustly active and engaged.
Now for some weaknesses of LT.  The influence of Marxist ideology is surely too central, too controlling, and it distorts the biblical worldview, metanarrative, and eschatology within which the gospel of the kingdom and its entailments must be extended to humanity.  For all the talk about reflection in the light of the Word, there is still an abandonment of scriptural authority.  The context and socioeconomic idealogy are exercising more authority in LT.  It deploys categories, an agenda, and a framework within which Scripture must fit.   Moreover, there are favored books to the exclusion or neglect of large, balancing portions of Scripture.  Practice is also narrowly defined, not defined by all of Scripture.  But obedience to King Jesus is larger than the liberationist’s agenda, as important as it is to be engaged in the lives of the poor for their good.  Liberation theology is also intentionally political, but not in gospel terms.  Surely one must agree that Christianity has political implications, huge implications in fact, that is, if one believes that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords.  But his kingdom also is not of this world.  So there is a tension here.  And LT does not seem to grapple with this tension.  Built into the method of LT is an over-realized eschatology.  Most disturbing and damaging of all, Christ is not central in LT, although he is often said to be so.  Functionally, however, he is not.  He is also not considered by some to be the final revelation.  For example, Richard Pablo says that Christ is not the apogee or final revelation, doubtless due in part to Pablo’s Roman Catholic understanding of revelation.[54]  But Heb. 1:1-2 says that Christ is the revelation of God par excellence in a culminating manner. 
By the admission of one Latin American theologian, Emilio Núñez, remarking during the 1980s when liberation theology was stronger, evangelical theology in Latin America was not as logocentric as it ought to have been.[55]  This of course is a weakness, not to mention shameful for ET.  Núñez stated that “the conservative evangelical community [had] shown a preference for men of action and a certain disdain for men of reflection,”[56] which resulted in a deficiency of rigorous engagement with the Scriptures.  Evangelicals, at least in the 1980s, gave lip service to sola Scriptura but did not “walk the walk.”  Along with this, there does not seem to be a robust whole-Bible metanarrative.
Also, probably due both to contextual pressures and legitimate insight, evangelical theologians of Latin America often speak about the importance of reflecting on the Word in community.  If this includes untrained and ungifted members, this is probably a weakness if excessive prominence is given to the interpretations of those not trained or specially endued by the Spirit.  After all, the Spirit of the risen Jesus has sovereignly bestowed gifts.  One of those is the gift of teaching (Eph. 4; 1 Cor. 12).  Teachers are equipped to understand what Scripture teaches better than are those with other gifts, and not all are teachers (1 Cor. 12).  It seems to follow that not all believers should be thought of as equally competent interpreters, even though I acknowledge that interpretation has a very significant communal element.  In both ET and LT the impression is sometimes given that all Christians can interpret the Scriptures with equal fidelity and insight.  But this is just not true, neither scripturally, nor experientially.  So there does not seem to be any biblical warrant for saying that all believers are called to do the sort of reflection that contributes to authoritative teaching in the Church.
Now for some particular biblical-theological reflections.  One of the pillar texts for LT is Lk. 4:16-21, and the common interpretation does not seem to take into account some details, like how the text applies to the blind in this age.  If blindness in this text is taken metaphorically for spiritual blindness, then poverty, oppression, and captivity should similarly be taken metaphorically.  But if it is not taken metaphorically, what is the application for praxis?  Should all believers become opthamologists?  This text also does not seem to get adequately probed in the framework of the Bible’s already-not-yet eschatology.  Furthermore, it is often simply asserted that the poor are the privileged locus of God’s presence and revelation, not proven.  I joyfully grant and acknowledge that the poor are spoken of in Scripture as the usual subjects of God’s favor, but LT speaks much more strongly and categorically than this.
Now, what is the main theological matter in a methodology?  It is, no doubt, the starting place of a method.  Where evangelicals start is the Bible, the Gospel of the kingdom, and kingdom realities in the Church and Spirit.  Liberation theologians start with an idiosyncratic and narrow notion of praxis flowing from a Marxist evaluation of the Latin American situation.  But who is to judge where we ought to start?  If we cannot turn somewhere, namely, to God himself speaking in Scripture for a God-given hermeneutic and method, we are swallowed up in the hopeless abyss of human opinion.  Liberation theologians say that we can only understand the Word of God if we have already—a priori—committed to their notion of praxis.  However, even this notion of praxis must come under divine scrutiny and critique, lest again we become swallowed up in the pontifications of finite, fallible, and mortal flesh.  Either God will set the agenda through his Word—or humanity will go the way of the deceitful heart with merely human agenda after human agenda, devoid of heavenly wisdom.  The deities of social science, politics, and economics—fashioned by the art and craft of flesh as they are—must bow before and be reformed by the Word of God.  Every knee shall bow, including economic, political, and sociological knees.  Marx and his ideology must do obeisance to King Jesus and his sociopolitical analysis before Marx can serve in his kingdom and be honored as a servant.  In other words, if his work is to do service, it must be critically assessed and reformed by the Word of God. 

Once someone has bought into the method of LT, a priori, the interpretation of Scripture is constrained by that method.  Scripture is brought in simply to criticize and reshape praxis, not liberation theology’s method or hermeneutic.  On the other hand, in principle, evangelical theology’s method itself allows for critique and correction of its method.

We all begin with precommitments and presuppositions.  Only, however, with a commitment to the Christ who has captured the sinner groping in darkness can there be a truly God-shaped theological method and hermeneutic.  Christ is the key to unlocking the Scriptures.  In liberation theology, it is emphatically stated that the hermeneutical key is the poor.  This is wrongheaded and will not do.
We may not jettison the primary place of Jesus and his Word in our theological and hermeneutical methodology.  As pressing as today’s needs are—and they are painfully and urgently pressing—the analysis and urgency of them are subordinate to Jesus and his Word.  If this sounds too detached, one ought to recall Jesus response to those who questioned the lavish attention bestowed upon Jesus to the apparent neglect of the poor (Mk. 14:3-10).  The poor are always going to be with us, and we dare not neglect caring for them.  Nevertheless, we must start with worshipping Christ and listening to his Word.  And oftentimes Christians ought to unashamedly neglect service in order to sit at Jesus’ feet to listen to him (Lk. 10:38-42).  And there at his feet we will hear from him how to go about our practical theology.  It is not the other way around.  Christians ought not to start to do practical theology and then merely let that practical theology be shaped by Jesus.  Without shame and without apology, the Lord Jesus and his Word ought to have the primary and all-determining place in the theological and hermeneutical methods of the Church.
We are all of us, rich and poor alike, culturally, historically, politically, socioeconomically located.  Our location obviously colors the way we approach texts, as do our individual and corporate experiences.  Yet to say that a particular location should be the starting place for biblical interpretation, or that a particular experience not necessary to be in Christ and indwelt by the Spirit should be the starting place, is simply without biblical warrant, truncated, and theologically inept.  It is an imposition that will not stand under the all-seeing gaze of God’s Word. 
The typological nature of old covenant and new covenant realities also has something to say about liberation theology’s interpretations such as that of the exodus.  In LT the exodus is a paradigm for revolutionary deliverance from political oppressors.  But it seems that it is not taken seriously enough that the exodus of the old covenant is prototypical in the sense that it points forward to or anticipates an ultimate exodus, a new exodus, in the exodus of Jesus’ death.  And the exodus that Jesus accomplished cannot be stuffed back into the old wineskins of what took place back in Egypt under old covenant structures, for it bursts those wineskins and far supersedes and outstrips them.  Deliverance in Jesus is political, to be sure, and at the last day it will be total.  But even now the slave is free in Christ (1 Cor. 7:21-23).
A whole-Bible biblical theology also must shape the way isolated events of Scripture are interpreted and, along with the gospel of the kingdom (which is what ET highlights well), must be the framework within which a truly biblical methodology is worked out.  Without the biblical metanarrative, and one that comes to grips with the profound thematic and typological links of Scripture, the categories and historical events will likely again and again get misinterpreted and misapplied.  The Bible’s metanarrative with its profound typological connections colors so many of the realities of which the Bible speaks and illuminates all of life under the all-seeing gaze and voice of the living God. 

Influence of Latin American Hermeneuticotheological Methodology on My Interpretative Approach

I am persuaded more after working through this material that my encounter with the risen and exalted Lord Jesus in the Spirit-suffused gospel of the kingdom must be my hermeneutical starting point.  An encounter with the risen Lord Jesus was Paul’s hermeneutical starting point.  And Latin American ET seems to stand here first and always.  The Scriptures that bear witness to Christ also must ever be the foundation for ongoing encounters with King Jesus and his teaching.  And all of Scripture should inform my theologizing, not just favorite books that address particular agendas.  The liberation theologians surely wrongly lean on select books and texts.  They also seem to ignore the metanarrative of the Bible and the deep typologies woven into that overarching storyline.  Observing how this seems to cause them to misinterpret and misapply Scripture and go wrong in analyzing the sociopolitical context of the day, I want to make progress in coming to grips with the Bible’s worldview and flow and innercanonical connections to avoid large-scale errors in theologizing as much as possible.  Thinking through the methodologies of Latin America has also caused me to recall afresh the moral dimension of knowledge.  The psalmist teaches this (Ps. 119:110), as does our Lord Jesus (Jn. 7:17).  I am stirred afresh as well to interact with the history of interpretation and the Church’s best heads and hearts for help from outside my narrow context with all its blind spots, doing community theologizing that spans the centuries and that crosses many cultures, not just those of the twenty-first century, which seems far too narrow.  Lastly, after interacting with Latin American hermeneuticotheological methodology, I am reminded of what the great Augustine teaches in On Christian Doctrine:  Two hermeneutical keys for interpreting Scripture are the love of God and love of neighbor.  Latin American theologians, a good number of them at least, seem to be far closer to Augustine’s insight here than most North Atlantic theologians.  Let us hear them.


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Segundo, Juan Luis. "Faith and Ideologies in Biblical Revelation." In Bible and liberation, 482-496. 
     Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1983.

[1] George, “From Liberation to Evangelization,” 368.
[2] Ibid.,” 368.
[3] Gutiérrez, “A Theology of Liberation,” xxxiii.
[4] Parratt, “Third World Theologies,” 21-24.
[5] George, “From Liberation to Evangelization,” 368.
[6] Escobar, “A Latin American Critique of Latin American Theology,” 48.
[7] Gutiérrez, “A Theology of Liberation,” 9.
[8] Costas, “Liberating News,” 2.
[9] Ibid., 2.
[10] Costas, “The Church and Its Mission,” 71.
[11] Richards, “Popular Reading of the Bible in Latin America,” 239.
[12] Boff and Boff, “Introducing Liberation Theology,” 11.
[13] Klein, Blomberg, Hubbard, “Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics,” 87.
[14] Ellacuría and Sobrino, “Mysterium Liberationis,” 65.
[15] Boff and Boff, “Introducing Liberation Theology,” 22.
[16] Ellacuría and Sobrino, “Mysterium Liberationis,” 66.
[17] Gutiérrez, “A Theology of Liberation,” 7.
[18] Ibid., xxxiii.
[19] Boff and Boff, “Introducing Liberation Theology,” 28.
[20] Ibid., 28.
[21] Ellacuria and Sobrino, “Mysterium Liberationis,” 65.
[22] Richard, “Interpreting and Teaching the Bible in Latin America, 80.
[23] Ibid, 84.
[24] Ellacuria and Sobrino, “Mysterium Liberationis,” 124.
[25] Ibid., 124.
[26] Ibid., 124.
[27] Ibid., 80.
[28] Ibid., 80.
[29] Ibid., 81.
[30] Ibid., 81.
[31] Gutiérrez, “A Theology of Liberation,” xxxiii.
[32] Ibid., 3.
[33] Segundo, “A Liberation of Theology,” 8.
[34]  Escobar, “A Latin American Critique of Latin American Theology,” 59.
[35] Ibid., 60.                                                                                                                                               
[36] Ibid., 60.
[37] Branson, “Conflict and Context,” 5.
[38] Padilla, “Mission Between the Times,” 86. 
[39] Branson, “Conflict and Context,” 4-5.
[40] Ibid., 4-5.
[41] Branson, “Conflict and Context,” 6.
[42] Ibid., 23.
[43] Padilla, “Mission Between the Times,” 87.
[44] Ibid., 85-86.
[45] Costas, “ Liberating News,” 4,9.
[46] Padilla, “Mission Between the Times,” 86-87.
[47] Branson, “Conflict and Context,” 23.
[48] Padilla, “Biblical Foundations,” 79.
[49] Padilla, “Mission Between the Times,” 106.
[50] Padilla, “Biblical Foundations,” 86.
[51] Ibid., 87.
[52] Boff and Boff, “Introducing Liberation Theology,” 33.
[53] Owen, Works IV, 206.
[54] Pablo, Popular Reading of the Bible in Latin America, 244.
[55] Núñez, “Liberation Theology,” 280.
[56] Ibid., 280.

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