Theological Stancegreenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
What is your understanding of Liberation Theology? And how is it applicable to 21st Century African Methodism? What is at stake?
-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002
Thank you for posting a very intersting question! The origins of Liberation Theology began in south and central america during the 1960's and 1970's and one of the best known Latin theologians on the subject is Gustavo guiterriez. Liberation theology is born out of a need for the Church to address the inequities that are heaped upon the poor in order to provide more wealth for western countries. A theological stance needed to be taken in order to right the wrongs that were happening to the poor people in the aforementioned countries. Liberation theology has had a dramatic impact on Black theology particularly in the works of Dr. James Cone and it is also seen within discussions regarding women and other groups. If we look at the economic climate in 1787 at the founding of our denomination, we too see great prosperity being had on the backs of slaves. Who were relegated to providing wealth for white people. While our citizenship and humanity were denied. I think a strong case can be made that the A.M.E church was the forerunner of Liberation theology in America. The status quo was changed and there was a dramatic paradigm shift in theology. It becama an African theology. Something that had not existed before Richard Allen. Economic development, education, buying of property, going to court, building universities were all predicated on the gospel message of liberation and justice for all regardless of skin color, or economic status. The A.M.E church rocked the boat literally!!!!!! For it dared to take the gospel message that the least would lifted high and prosper and make it a reality because God said so. For more information on liberation theology go to www.landreform.org/boff2.htm
-- Anonymous, October 12, 2002
Rev. Montogmery you asked how is Liberation theology applicable to the 21st. century. It is still relevent within the A.M.E church, for example. The disproporionate amount of black men in prison today is an issue that begs for a theological response. I am proud that at the last Bishop Council meeting that was one of the issues that our denomination decided to work on. There is also the treatment of women in our denomination that also warrants attention under the rubric of liberation theology. How can we be the full body of Christ if we are not using all the people God has called to serve him that includes women in leadership roles. Christ turns no one away who calls him savior and is obedient to the father. Racism is still an issue that the A.M.E church has to address. Aids, health issurance, evangelism to those who are marginalized, single moms, latinos, native americans etc. As the A.M.E church we must use the tenets of Liberation theology to address the economic inequities that are poured upon our African sisters and brothers. Countries in Africa should have their world debt forgiven. We must not pillage the African continent for resources and then turn our backs when people are dying from Aids, hunger, lack of water or war. Liberation Theology calls us to be the voice of those who have muted from hunger or lost of life. There is still much work that the A.M.E church can and will do in the 21st century. The Bishops that we have are well known in the international world they are respected. We do not have to fight the battle of creditability for our denomination has worked hard over the years and has proved itself able. I pray we will focus on justice issues for Jesus certainly did. I am looking forward to more discussion on this important question.
-- Anonymous, October 12, 2002
I agree with you Rev. Rogers on your treatise on Liberation Theology however, I think in the whole we have failed to use it as effectively as we should. There are a number of injustices that face our communities and we as clergy and lay ought to grab hold to the fact that Jesus had a deep care and concern for the poor and the oppressed. We preach it fairly regularly but after get that shout out we go home and do nothing. Christian activism is powerful. The religious right has practiced it with much such success following the model set by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Racial profiling, economic disparities in mortgages and insurance and environmental racism are issue which also require a theological response.
-- Anonymous, October 20, 2002
When I was in seminary, I wrote a paper entitled "What Does it Mean for an Oppressed People to say that God is Love". From what I understand, Liberation Theology is done by those who first analyze where they are (that is, they look at the oppressive circumstances in which they find themselves); then they seek to understand the God who is with them in their struggle for liberation. This is very relevant for 21st Century African Methodism, for I believe that God is calling for the A.M.E. Church to raise its prophetic voice and liberating agency (that is, the act of allowing God to work through the church to bring about liberation)to a higher level.
-- Anonymous, March 24, 2003
I need to make a spelling correction. The above contribution was made by Rev. Earlston DeSilva.
-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003