The former criticizes it at its roots, and has passed over to the Ratzinger camp, while the latter continues to defend it, and feels betrayed. It was an article published in a theological journal in Brazil, by a celebrity of Latin American theology: Clodovis Boff in the photo. But the second blow hit even harder. This was the harsh reply to the article by Clodovis Boff, written by his even more famous brother: Leonardo. The paths of the two brothers separated and then clashed over precisely what had united them before: liberation theology. For his part, Leonardo Boff, in his reply published at the end of May, remains absolutely firm on that same principle: "From the moment when God became man-poor, man-poor became the measure of all things.
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Introducing Liberation Theology By Leonardo Boff and Clodovis Boff Leonardo and Clodovis Boff are liberation theologians, priests, and brothers who have devoted much of their careers to the pursuit and practice of liberation theology in the church and in the world. Leonardo Boff is a professor in Petropolis, Brazil; Clodovis Boff is a professor in Sao Paulo, Brazil — both have used their educational platforms to spread the knowledge of liberation theology from a Latin American base-community perspective throughout the world; however, as liberation theology is a praxis-oriented theology, the Boff brothers continue to work among the poor people of which there are many in Brazil to bring about the realisation as best possible the liberating message of the gospel.
In fewer than pages, the Boffs give a succinct and clear overview of liberation theology — this is a theology of the poor, in which the gospel message and the character of Christ are seen as being in solidarity with the poor. Liberation theology is complex, but the Boffs reduce it to simple, understandable tenets. There are three levels of liberation theology, according to the authors: professional, pastoral, and popular. The professional level involves academic theorists and clergy administrator types; the pastoral level involves the teaching and compassionate action of clergy and lay ministers; however, it is the popular level that is most important here, where the action is most involved in the world.
Liberation theology sometimes involves confrontation — when Oscar Romero stood up to the oppressors in Central America, he was engaging in all three levels of liberation theology. In succeeding chapters, the authors look at the primary themes of liberation theology, a brief history of the development of liberation ideas from political, social, ecclesial and theological roots, and the spread of liberation ideas worldwide.
Liberation theology is sometimes seen in purely political terms, particularly in Western seminaries and churches, because those of us in the West have lost the ability to think in theological terms as a matter of course; to be fair, however, liberation theology does intend to challenge the status quo of political and economic relationships, much to the discomfort of those in the West.
Large and small, catholic and protestant, liberation theology has a tendency to challenge existing relationships between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, gender roles, and more. Jesus was always more concerned for the poor than the rich, for the common people than the kings and ruling class, and liberation theologians pick up on this fact.
Book review by Fr.
Frei Boff, o verdadeiro!
Fr. Clodovis Boff