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Catholic Re-Visions

Re-(En)Visioning Liberation: 50 years after Gustavo Gutiérrez’s A Theology of Liberation

Across these six essays, the role of liberation as either a political end or a methodological concept is problematized as means to thinking beyond liberation to a material politics darkly intuited but urgently needed.

As we commemorate the 50thth anniversary of A Theology of Liberation’s publication, Gustavo Gutiérrez’s legacy remains central both for Catholic political theology and for any re-vision of it. Gutiérrez’s development of liberation and oppression as theological categories has fueled the theo-political imagination over these five decades, providing rich source material for theological reflection and revisioning. We propose this symposium as a means to re-(en)vision the legacy and theological contributions of Gutiérrez to Catholic political theology through interdisciplinary critique, deconstructive radicalization, and dangerous re/membering.

Each of the contributors for this proposed symposium have engaged the complete textual corpus of Gutiérrez, including unpublished material. Each contributor reads Gutiérrez in relation to political theology from distinct methodological approaches–including queer theory, afro-pessimism, feminist theology, postcolonial theory, theopoetics, black nihilism, poststructuralism, and critical memory studies. Our contributors also work from diverse social locations in terms of race, sexual orientation, economic backgrounds, and male/female/non-binary genders. In and through this dynamic multiplicity, we share the conviction that liberation remains a central question requiring constructive re-vision fifty years after A Theology of Liberation.

Collectively, the focal point of our interventions concern either Gutiérrez’s eschatology of hope or the role of memory and personhood in communal identity. Across these six essays, the role of liberation as either a political end or a methodological concept is problematized as means to thinking beyond liberation to a material politics darkly intuited but urgently needed.  

Symposium Essays

In the Absence of a Liberating God – 50 years after A Theology of Liberation

Fifty years after the publication of Gustavo Gutiérrez’s A Theology of Liberation, what, if any, relevance does Christian liberation theology and Gutiérrez’s work have for our present moment? Do we still have a memory of a liberating God? And if not, is there a liberative power in grappling with the absence of this memory?

A Spirituality of Liberation and The Destruction of Hope

If we are to hope for anything beyond the end of hope, it is in the incommunicable and incommensurable nature that is the moan.

Liberating Liberation Theology: Notes from the “Non” on the 50th Anniversary of A Theology of Liberation

What if Liberation itself must be liberated? Or maybe, like the nonperson and the nonbeing, it has always been breathed into by the breath of white violence.

After Certainty: Liberations of Failure

Liberation, caught between queer nihilism and eschatological certainty, must seek an third way beyond the binary of hopefulness and hopelessness through the negation of both. It must transpose itself into an apophatic register as the experience of continual failure, an uncertain endless becoming, that might be called simple hope.

Sifting for God’s Will: Sketching Providence in the work of Gustavo Gutiérrez

The question then is not so much: “Can providence be liberative?” but rather, “How might liberation be understood as God’s providence?”

Coming

Between Anguish and Hope: A Response to Some Critical Re-visions of Liberation Theology

Compost is a living,breathing site of transformation from death to new life. While the following insights from liberation theology may not be articulated in the same way today or fifty years hence, their molecular substructures live on in their fertilization of theological re-visionings that are born of struggle and affirm the liberating primacy of life, love, and solidarity.

Coming