This course explores Christian Liberation Theologies and their critics. After an initial consideration of the common characteristics of various liberation theologies and their European and North American precursors, the course will give sustained attention to liberation theologies in Africa and Latin America, and, in particular, their relationship to revolutionary political struggles in those contexts. Throughout, the focus will be on careful attention to classic liberationists texts and reflection on them nourished by field experiences in Ghana, South Africa, Argentina, and Brazil. COURSE OBJECTIVES – Students will be able to identify and explain in writing the general characteristics of liberation theologies. -Students will be able to identify and explain in writing the primary precursors to and historical moments in the development of Liberation Theology. -Students will display critical familiarity with five major texts in Latin American and African liberation theologies. -Students will be able to identify and explain in writing distinctive liberationist approaches to theological method, Christology, ecclesiology, and political ethics. -Students will be able to write critical reviews of theological texts identifying their primary theses and patterns of reasoning, identifying strengths and weaknesses in the texts.
A course in Christian Theology, New Testament, or, the Christian Bible, or at the approval of the instructor/registrar.
Field WorkCountry: Argentina
The purpose of this seminar will be to enable students to understand the way in which liberation theology contributed to the "revolutionary situation" of the 1960s and 1970s; its role in inspiring the work of the Methodist (and other) churches in protecting and promoting human rights; and, the way in which those shaped by liberation theology see the ongoing struggle for justice in a democratic context in Argentina and in the current global context. With reference to the latter, students will be introduced to Nestor Miguez's research and reflections having to do with "Doing Theology Under the Global Empire," now that the earlier "revolutionary situation" seems to have passed. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on the relevance and implications of the Argentine experience for the ministry of Christian communities in their own settings.