The University of Life: Liberation Theology for the political prisoner

Much has been written about the oppression in Chile following the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet in September 1973. Luis Macchiavello reflects on his own experiences as a young man at that time in Chile and the importance of Liberation Theology, putting forward a specific ‘Liberation Theology for the political prisoner’.

Liberation Theology and the Bible

Theology is a contemplative conversation about God, a human and open conversation about meaning that expands across time; theology is about personal faith, and its mission is to assist us to understand who God is. Gustavo Gutiérrez speaks of Liberation Theology as ‘a critical reflection on Christian praxis enlightened by the word of God … a theology that aims at being a reflection of praxis in the light of faith … which does not stop with reflecting on the world, but rather tries to be part of the process through which the world is transformed’.1 Similarly, Leonardo and Clodovis Boff argue that Liberation Theology is cultural and ecclesial, not limited to professional theologians, embracing the whole Church.2

The Bible is a powerful means of liberation: in the light of the Bible, Liberation Theology is about being in communion with the people who are oppressed. As Arthur McGovern writes:
[Liberation Theology] embraces all of human reality; body and spirit, the individual and society, time as well as eternity. History is one; the history of salvation began with creation. God’s concern for the physical well-being and salvation of all peoples became dramatically evident in the story of Exodus. The Exodus showed God acting in history…, which liberated the people from misery and oppression.3

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