chapter  1
26 Pages

In search of the poor in liberation theology

In a dialogue organized between liberation theologians and the French cultural anthropologist and literary critic René Girard, Leonardo Bo oered the following assessment of liberation theology: “I think that the theology of liberation, on its strictly theological level, has two fundamental categories: the category poor, oppressed (and along with that, God of the poor, God of Life, etc.), and the category Kingdom of God.”2 Although the two categories are closely related, I will concentrate on the category poor.3 My aim in this chapter is to provide at least an overview of the dierent ways in which liberation theologians have understood the poor, in as far as possible using their own words. I have, however, sought to organize the material around a number of headings, which seem to me to encompass the dierent lines the attempts to portray and represent the poor have taken.