Liberation theology is not a Marxism in Christian disguise. It is the recovery of a biblical radicalism that has been harbored in the Judeo-Christian tradition virtually from its founding. As such, liberation theology is the revitalization of one of the most profound social, political, economic, and religious challenges to established hierarchies that the West has ever known. Liberation theologians turn to modern Marxism chiefly to gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary class conflict and poverty. Their primary concerns remain to define themselves as an “emergent church” in the biblical tradition, and to reflect upon the praxis of the “base community” movement they have spawned throughout Latin America. However, the principal liberation theologians of our day exhibit persistent ambiguities about how individuals should relate to their communities. The biblical materials suggest certain solutions to them, but ones so radical that not even the most extreme of the liberation theologians appear ready to embrace them.
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