movement to reform theology "from below," from the perspective of
the poor, for the sake of radical social change.
theology sought freedom from oppression
addresses systemic issues such as class conflict, racism, and sexism.
It arose in Africa, to reject colonialism and
apartheid, and in Latin America, to reject
political, military, and economic oppression. In Latin America it has
played a role in church and state conflicts.
In 1973, the English translation of Gustavo Gutierrez's A Theology
for Liberation helped spread liberation theology to North America,
where it has been taken up by some African-American
and feminist theologians. Major
themes in liberation theology include: God's favoring of the poor and
the oppressed; Jesus' identification with the poor; the imperative for
Christians to act with and for the poor; biblical mandates for justice;
necessity of confrontation or conflict to bring about justice.