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A Critical Introduction to Religion in the Americas

A Critical Introduction to Religion in the Americas

Bridging the Liberation Theology and Religious Studies Divide

by Michelle A. Gonzalez
Publication Date: 18/07/2014
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A Critical Introduction to Religion in

the Americas argues

that we cannot understand religion in the Americas without understanding its

marginalized communities. Despite frequently voiced doubts among religious

studies scholars, it makes the case that theology, and particularly liberation

theology, is still useful, but it must be reframed to attend to the ways in

which religion is actually experienced on the ground. That is, a liberation

theology that assumes a need to work on behalf of the poor can seem out of

touch with a population experiencing huge Pentecostal and Charismatic growth,

where the focus is not on inequality or social action but on individual

relationships with the divine.


drawing on a combination of historical and ethnographic sources, this volume provides

a basic introduction to the study of religion and theology in the Latino/a,

Black, and Latin American contexts, and then shows how theology can be reframed

to better speak to the concerns of both religious studies and the real people

the theologians' work is meant to represent. Informed by

the dialogue partners explored throughout the text, this volume presents a

hemispheric approach to discussing lived religious movements. While not

dismissive of liberation theologies, this approach is critical of their past

and offers challenges to their future as well as suggestions for preventing

their untimely demise. It is clear that the liberation theologies of tomorrow

cannot look like the liberation theologies of today.
Religion & beliefs
Publication Date:
New York University Press
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):

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