So it has occurred to me recently as I reviewed my own personal library that I might be a liberation theologian. Dozens of titles in my collection are written by people who identify as such or contribute to liberation conversations. Many of these books have been among my most influential reads within the last several years. I share them here in case you, too, might lean toward liberation.
Gustavo Gutierrez wrote the seminal work on liberation theology. This is a master work. I read this a few years ago during a Burundian summer and think it should be required reading for every community development practitioner, at least!
Gutierrez says this is really an extension of his theology of liberation. In this small but thick volume he articulates a spirituality of liberation that is clear and compelling and, again, required reading in my opinion.
Boff is known to be a liberation theologian, and you see the threads of liberation thinking in all he writes, my favorite is this poetic work on creation and ecology. He also has a wonderful book on the Trinity, Holy Trinity, Perfect Community, that is worth a read.
This is how a liberation theologian unmasks the parables – so skilled and subversive indeed. You don’t have to agree with every conclusion to still benefit from Boff’s exegetical approach to the parables, Espevially when it comes to economics, he brings new understanding to stories we thought we already knew.
God of the Oppressed by James Cone
I am part way through this heavy text. James Cone articulates liberation theology from the African American context. Another highly recommended book by him is The Cross and the Lynching Tree.
Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation by Naim Stifan Ateek
This is the best single book I read last year. Listening to a Palestinian Christian talk about the land of Palestine and the Scripture broke open new vistas for me. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
This work is referenced in many of the other articulations of liberation, and so it is a seminal text in the liberation canon. Freire writes as an educator, but he is a liberator at heart! This is another book I would require for all development practitioners, by the way.
What works of liberation theology have you read and learned from? I am especially interested in more works by women.