The Future of Liberation Theology envisions a radical new direction for Latin American liberation theology. One of a new generation of Latin American theologians, Ivan Petrella shows that despite the current dominance of 'end of history' ideology, liberation theologians need not abandon their belief that the theological rereading of Christianity must be linked to the development of 'historical projects' - models of political and economic organization that would replace an unjust status quo. In the absence of historical projects, liberation theology currently finds itself unable to move beyond merely talking about liberation toward actually enacting it in society. Providing a bold new interpretation of the current state and potential future of liberation theology, Ivan Petrella brings together original research on the movement, with developments in political theory, critical legal theory and political economy to reconstruct liberation theology's understanding of theology, democracy and capitalism. The result is the recovery of historical projects, thus allowing liberation theologians to once again place the reality of liberation, and not just the promise, at the forefront of their task.
Prize: Winner of a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award 2005 'The work enjoys, in my view, three very important qualities. First, it is the first work of its kind, one that many of us have been waiting for: a synthesis of the changes undergone by liberation theology (LT) since the fall of the Berlin Wall. I have no doubt that on this strength alone the book will be well-ordered for course syllabi. Second, the analysis is substantial: the author is clearly on the right track when he argues that since the fall of socialism LT has been struggling to locate a new historical project. And third, the book is persuasive: elegant, clear, without a trace of jargon. The author is clearly seeking to communicate effectively with his audience.Â On these counts, I am delighted to see this book come into print.' John Burdick, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Syracuse University, USA 'While this is not the first or even the last word on liberation theology, it is well worth reading and deserves to be widely read, as, unerringly, its author manages to comprehend, sympathize with, and analyse the predicament of liberation theology since the fall of the Berlin wall… This original book, so sympathetic to liberation theology and its goals, deserves a wide readership…' Christopher Rowland in Theology 'This is an excellent book…Highly recommended…' Choice 'Petrella's thesis deserves to be widely debated.' Reviews in Religion and Theology 'This book is a worthwhile, interesting, and persuasive examination of liberation theology in the past, present and future.' Religious Studies Review ’Petrella's book will be interesting to anyone who would like a critical assessment of the future of liberation theology.’ Review and Expositor
Contents: Introduction; Liberation Theology today: the missing historical project; Liberation Theology as the construction of historical projects; Liberation Theology, democracy and historical projects; Liberation Theology, capitalism and historical projects; Liberation Theology, institutional imagination and historical projects; Liberation Theology as the construction of historical projects revisited; Conclusion; Appendix; References; Index.