Bibliography on Liberation Theologies

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Adapted and extended from the work of John Cleary at Providence College and the online reference material of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Texas at Austin. Additional online book information and purchase links provided by Human Development Books, and this website.

Key Works on Liberation Theology’s Status:

John Burdick, Legacies of Liberation: The Progressive Catholic Church in Brazil (2004)

John Burdick, Procurando Deus no Brasil: a igeja catolica progressista na arena das relifioes urbanas brasileiras

“A teologia de libertacao morreu?” in Revista Eclesiatica Brasileira (63,2) Cláudio de Oliveira Ribeiro suggests ten ways Liberation Theology can strengthen itself

Allan Figueroa Deck in America (Feb. 3, 2003) reports on “The Option for the Poor in Theology” Notre Dame Conference

Latin American


Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Vatican II documents, especially: Church in the Modern World

Catholic Social Teaching, see, for example: David J. O’Brien and Thommas A. Shannon, eds.,
Renewing the Earth: Catholic Documents on Peace, Justice, and Liberation

Classical Writers and Principal Works

Leonardo Boff

Liberating Grace (1979)

Ecclesiogenesis: The Base Communities Reinvent the Church (1986)

New Evangelization

Ecology and Liberation

more about Leonardo Boff

José Míguez Bonino

Doing Theology in a Revolutionary Situation (1975)

Toward a Christian Politics Ethics (1983)

Faces of Jesus: Latin American Christologies (1984)

Gustavo Gutiérrez

A Theology of Liberation (1971)

We Drink from Our Own Wells(1984)

The Power of the Poor in History (1983)

Las Casas: In Search of the Poor of Jesus Christ (1993)

Gustavo Gutiérrez: Essential Writings (edited by James B.Nickoloff)

The Density of the Present: Selected Writings (1999)

More about Gustavo Gutiérrez…

Archbishop Oscar Romero

The Violence of Love: The Pastoral Wisdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Compiled and translated by James R. Brockman, S.J.; fwd. by Henri J. M. Nouwen (San Francisco & Toronto: Harper & Row, 1988; reprinted Farmington, PA: Plough Pub., 1998)  

Free PDF editions in English and Spanish Paperback edition

Voice of the Voiceless
The Four Pastoral Letters and Other Statements

Ed. by R. Cardenal, I. Martin-Baró, and J. Sobrino; trans. by Michael J. Walsh (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1985)

Archbishop Romero: Memories and Reflections
Jon Sobrino, (Maryknoll NY: Orbis, 1990)…

More about Archbishop Oscar Romero…


Juan Luis Segundo

The Liberation of Theology (1976)

A Theology for the Artisans of a New Humanity (1973-74)

Jesus of Nazareth Yesterday and Today (1984-88)

Jon Sobrino

Christology at the Crossroads (1978)

Jesus in Latin America (1987)

Themes, additional works


Gustavo Gutiérrez, We Drink from Our Own Wells (1984)

Gustavo Gutiérrez, The Density of the Present (Part Three) (1999)


Elizabeth A. Johnson, Consider Jesus: Waves of Renewal in Christology (1990)

Option for the Poor:

Norbert F. Lohfink, Option for the Poor: The Basic Principle of Liberation Theology
In the Light of the Bible (1987)

Edward L. Cleary, Born of the Poor (1990)

Human Rights and Religion:

Luis Pérez Aguirre, La opción entrañable (Montevideo: Ediciones Trilce, 1989)

Challenges of Change and Pluralism

Joâo Batista Libanio, Igreja contemporânea: Encontro com a modernidade (2000)

Olhando para o futuro: Perspecticas teológicas e pastorais do Cristianismo na América Latina

Clodovis Boff, Uma igreja para o próximo milênio (1998)

Mário França Miranda, Um catolicismo desafiado: Igreja e pluralismo religioso no Brasil (1996)

Phillip Berryman, Religion in the Megacity (1996)

Expansion of Liberation Theology

Alfred T. Hennelly, Liberation Theologies: The Global Pursuit of Justice (1995)

Documentary History

Alfred Hennelly, Liberation Theology: A Documentary History (1990)


Alfred Hennelly, Liberation Theologies: The Global Pursuit of Justice (1995)

Enrique Dussel, Teologia da Libertaçâo: Um panorama de seu desenvolvimento (Petropolis:
Editora Vozes, 1999) [Spanish edition: Mexico, 1995]

Leonardo Boff, José Ramos Regidor, and Clodovis Boff, A Teologia da Libertaçâo: Balanço e
perspectivas (Sao Paulo: Editoa Atica, 1996)

Phillip Berryman, Liberation Theology: The Essential Facts (1987)

Edward L. Cleary, Crisis and Change (1985)

Robert McAfee Brown, Liberation Theology: An Introductory Guide (1993)

Theological Dictionaries

Ignacio Ellacuría and Jon Sobrino, eds. Mysterium Liberationis: Conceptos Fundamentales de la teología de la liberación (1990); also an abridged version in English, Mysterium Liberationis

Casiano Floristán and Juan José Tamayo, eds., Conceptos Fundamentals del Cristianismo (1993)

Is Liberation Theology Marxist?

Arthur F. McGovern, Liberation Theology and Its Critics (1989)

Luigi Bordin, “Teologia da Libertaçâo e Marxismo no contexto de globalizacâo,” Revista
Brasileira Eclesiástica 59, 233 (March 1999), pp. 127-151.

Enio R. Müller, Teologia da Libertaçâo e Marxismo: Uma relacâo en busca de explicacâo
(San Leopoldo: Editora Sinodal, 1996).

Liberation Theology as a Social Movement

Christian Smith, The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and Social Movement Theory (1991)

Multiple Perspectives on the Theology of Liberation

Hispanic Theology

Eduardo Fernandez, La Cosecha: Harvesting United States Hispanic Theology (1972-1998) (2000)

Allan Figueroa Deck, The Second Wave: Hispanic Ministry and the Evangelization of Cultures (1989)
ed., Frontiers of Hispanic Theology (1992)

Alejandro García-Rivera, The Community of the Beautiful (1999)

Virgilio Elizando, Galilean Journey (1993)
Guadalupe: Mother of the New Creation (1997)

Eduardo Fernández, La Cosecha: Harvesting Contemporary United States Hispanic Theology  (1972-1998) (2000)

María Pilar Aquino, Our Cry for Life: Feminist Theology from Latin America (1993)
La teología, la iglesia y la mujer en América Latina (1994)

Roberto S. Goizueta, Caminemos con Jesús: Toward a Hispanic/Latino Theology of Accompaniment (1995)

Roberto S. Goizueta and María Pilar Aquino (Editors), Theology: Expanding the Borders — The Political Economy of Human Rights (1998)

Orlando Espín, The Faith of the People: Theological Reflections on Popular Catholicism (1997)

Arturo Bañuelos, ed., Mestizo Christianity: Theology from a Latino Perspective (1995)

Justo L. González: Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective (1990)
Voces: Voice from the Hispanic Church (1992)

Bibliography: see references in Eduardo Fernández, La Cosecha (2000)

Periodical: Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology

Black Theology

Afro-Latin American

ATABAQUE and ASETT, Teologia afro-americana: II Consulta Ecuménica de teologia e
culturas afro-americana e caribenha (Sao Paulo: Paulus, 1997)

United States

Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited

James F. Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation (1970)

Black Theology and Black Power

God of the Oppressed

Speaking the Truth: Ecumenism, Liberation and Black Theology (1999)

James F. Cone and Gayraud Wilmore, eds., Black Theology 

J. Deotis Roberts, Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology (1971)

Frederick Herzog, Liberation Theology (1972)

Kelly Brown Douglas, The Black Christ

Women’s Theology

Letty Russell, Ferment of Freedom (1972)

Human Liberation in a Feminist Perspective (1974)

Rosemary Radford Reuther, Liberation Theology (1973)

Rosemary Radford Ruether,  Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing (1994)

Ursula King., ed., Feminist Theology from the Third World

María Pilar Aquino, Our Cry for Life (1993)

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins (1994)

Elsa Tamez, Through Her Eyes: Women’s Theology from Latin America (1989)

Virginia Fabella and Mercy Amba Oduyoye, With Passion and Compassion: Third World 

Women Doing Theology (1993)

Ada María Isasi-Díaz, En la lucha: A Hispanic Women’s Liberation Theology (1993)

Letty Russell, et al., Inheriting Our Mothers’ Gardens: Feminist Theology in Third World Perspective (1988)

María Pilar Aquino, ed., Apuntes para una teología desde la mujer (1988)

Asia and Africa

Kosuke Koyama, No Handle on the Cross (1977)

Water Buffalo Theology (revised, 1999)

The Agitated Mind of God: The Theology of Kosuke Koyama (Dale T. Irvin and Akintunde E. Akinade, eds., 1999)

Allan Boesak, Farewell to Innocence (1977)

Sergio Torres and Virgina Fabella., eds., The Emergent Gospel: Theology from the Underside of History (1978)



Kurt Cadorette et al., Liberation Theology: A Reader

Selected Dissertations

More than 600 dissertations on liberation theology have been completed at universities in the United States and Canada.  The following were selected because of special reference to Latin America.

Liberation, democracy and capitalism: A study of the role of historical projects in Latin American liberation theology. Petrella, Fernando Ivan. Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002.

Faith in the balance: Foundations of liberation theology in Latin American and European Thought. Vila, Alice Christie Kibort. Ph.D., University of Miami, 2002.

The kingdom of God, communion, and solidarity in the ecclesiology of Jon Sobrino. Stelzer, Mark Stephen. S.T.D., The Catholic University of America, 2002.

God’s preferential option for the poor: A study in liberation theology and metaphysics (Juan Luis Segundo, Gustavo Gutierrez, Enrique Dussel).
Irvine, Andrew Bruce. Ph.D., Boston University, 2002.

Moral catechesis in Brazil and Catholic social teaching: From “Populorum Progressio” to “Ecclesia in America”. Maria, Joaquim Parron. Ph.D., The Catholic University of America, 2001.

The sentences of history: Writing, difference and the state in Latin America. A study of Bartolome de las Casas, Euclides da Cunha and Augusto Roa Bastos (Brazil, Paraguay). Johnson, Adriana Michele Campos. Ph.D. Duke University, 2001.

An analysis of Gregory Baum’s theology of the “preferential option for the poor” as a via negativa which addresses important critiques of the preferential option.
Carney, Martin Francis. Ph.D., Fordham University, 2001.

The curriculum implications of liberation theology as a theory for social change.
Alcazar, Alvaro Basista. Ph.D., Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, 2001.

Praxis of peace: The pastoral work and theology of Bishop Samuel Ruiz and the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
Andraos, Michel. Ph.D., University of St. Michael’s College (Canada), 2000.

Pneumatology and liberation in Latin America: An analysis of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit in the theologies of Orlando E. Costas and Jose Comblin.
McClellan, Mark R.. Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2000.

A spectral reconciliation: Rebuilding post-war El Salvador.
Silber, Irina Carlota. Ph.D., New York University, 2000.

Christians and poverty.
Lotter, Hendrik Petrus Pienaar. Ph.D., University of Pretoria (South Africa), 2000.

The mission of the church and the kingdom of God in Latin America.
Campos R., Oscar A.. Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary, 2000.

A development ethic of capabilities and liberation: Structural adjustment and the rural poor of Central America.
Stivers, Laura Amanda. Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, 2000.

“Commandos for Christ”: The foundation of the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle and the “Americanism” of the 1950s and 1960s.
Garneau, James Francis. Ph.D., The Catholic University of America, 2000.

Incarnation and the kingdom of God: The political theologies of Orlando Costas, C. Rene Padilla, and Samuel Escobar.
Coy, Terrell Frank. Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1999.

An analysis of the Christology of Latin American liberation theology (Jon Sobrino, Leonardo Boff, Juan Luis Segundo).
Spencer, Charles Ivan. PH.D., The University of Texas at Arlington, 1997.

The discourse of solidarity in testimonial “poemarios” from Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay (Spanish text, poetry, Juan Gelman, Miguel Angel Olivera, Mauricio Rosencof, victims, desaparecidos, Mothers of Plaza de Mayo).
Partnoy, Alicia M.. PH.D., The Catholic University of America,1997.

El pensamiento de la liberacion en la novela Colombiana de la Violencia (Spanish text, liberation theology).
Torres, German M.. PH.D., University of Georgia, 1996.

The impact of Jacques Maritain’s political thought in Twentieth century Latin America.
Ramos-Reyes, Mario Fernando. PH.D., University of Kansas, 1996.

On Paulo Freire’s theory of liberation and education, and nonviolence.
Glass, Ronald David. PH.D., Stanford University, 1996.

Political grace: The gift of resistance (liberation theology). 
Rehberg, Wesley Stephan. PH.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1996.

Social transformation:  The ecclesiology of Juan Luis Segundo (Uruguay). 
Rice, Patrick Francis. PH.D., Fordham University, 1995.

The political philosophy of Gustavo Gutierrez (Peru, liberation theology). 
Duncan, William B. PH.D., Texas Tech University, 1995.

Humanization in the Christology of Juan Luis Segundo (Uruguay). 
Sunderman, Marilyn Ann. PH.D., Fordham University, 1995.

Approaches to the real: Liberation theology and spirituality in Latin America and North America.  A comparison of the works of Gustavo Gutierrez and Frederick Herzog (Peru).
Rieger, Joerg Michael.  PH.D., Duke University, 1994.

Towards an ecumenical liberation theology: A critical exploration of common dimensions in the theologies of Juan L. Segundo and Rubem A. Alves (Segundo, Juan L., Alves, Rubem A.). 
James, Leslie Robert. PH.D., Saint Louis University, 1994.

A rhetorical analysis of theological conflict in Latin America (liberation theology, fundamentalism).
Treadaway, Glenda Jenkins. PH.D., Ohio University, 1994.

Claiming the Virgin: Narrative and conflict in Northeast Brazil (Religious conflict, Catholicism).
Nagle, Robin. PH.D., Columbia University, 1994.

Pluralism and liberation: A critical-constructive conversation for postmodern Christian theology (Latin America). 
McCarthy, Katherine Gunning. PH.D., Graduate Theological Union, 1994.

Catholicism, reform and development in Latin America, 1959-1967 (liberation theology). 
O’Meagher, Matthew John. PH.D., Duke University, 1994.

The Catholic Church searching for democratization of communication in Latin America. 
Puntel, Joana Terezinha. PH.D., Simon Fraser University, 1992.

Anthropogenesis: The theological anthropology of Leonardo Boff (Boff Leonardo, Brazil).
Rivera Rodriguez, Luis R. TH.D., Harvard University, 1993.

Liberation theology at the grassroots: Community leaders in rural Brazil. 
Santos, Barbara Maryan. PH.D., Indiana University, 1993.

Boff’s use of the Bible in selected Christological passages (Boff Leonardo, liberation theology).
Marroquin, Oscar Lopez. TH.D., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1993.

Toward reformed-liberating Hermeneutics: A new reading of reformed theology in the Latin American context (liberation theology). 
Palomino Lopez, Salatiel. PH.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1993.

Priests and praxis: Liberation theology and socioeconomic change in Ecuador (Catholic).
Richards, Samuel Martell. PH.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick, 1992.

The new man and the Kingdom of God: Ideological background of the Bolivian Narrative of the Guerrilla War (Spanish text). 
Siles, Juan Ignacio. PH.D., University of Georgia, 1992.

A critique of liberationist exegesis of the Gospel of Luke as reflected in the writings of Jose Miguez Bonino, Leonardo Boff, and Gustavo Gutierrez (Boff Leonardo, Gutierrez Gustavo, Miguez Bonino Jose, Brazil, Peru, Argentina). 
Estrada, Sergio Antonio. PH.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1992.

Church and politics in time of crisis: Noriega’s Panama (liberation theology, Segundo Juan Luis, Noriega Manuel). 
Muschett Ibarra, Stanley Michael. PH.D., University of Notre Dame, 1992.

Liberation and ethics: An inquiry into the foundations of a Christian ethics of liberation.
Dagmang, Ferdinand Daliva. PH.D., Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), 1991.

The Cross of Christ in Latin American liberation theology.
Campbell, Howard Dennis. PH.D., Drew University, 1991.

Contextualization in Costa Rican theological education today: A history of the Seminario Biblico Latinoamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica, 1922-1990.
Robbins, Bruce Warren. PH.D., Southern Methodist University, 1991.

Liberation theology, Freire’s liberatory pedagogy, and composition studies. 
Ferry, Christopher Joseph. D.A., State University of New York at Albany, 1991.

Analise de realidade social e teologia de libertacao. O debate teologico na Americanlatina e a contribuicao do Magisterio Romano.
De Andrade, Paulo Fernando Carneiro. Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana (Vatican), 1989.

The transformation of the Catholic Church in Haiti.
Mathieu, Suze Marie. PH.D., Indiana University, 1991.

Religion and the struggle for hegemony in Nicaragua.
Deonandan, Kalowatie. PH.D., Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada), 1991.

Political-religious expressions: liberation theology and Christian democracy in Latin America (Nicaragua, Venezuela).
Lynch, Edward Anthony. PH.D., University of Virginia, 1990.

The emergence of liberation theology: Radical religion and social movement theory.
Smith, Christian Stephen. PH.D., Harvard University, 1990.

Protestantism in Ecuador: A case study in Latin American Church history, 1895-1980’s.
Goffin, Alvin Matthew. PH.D., The Florida State University, 1990.

Theology of liberation and political theory: Leonardo Boff and Gustavo Gutierrez in conversation with Johann Baptist Metz and Juergen Moltmann.
Stemmeler, Michael Ludwig. PH.D., Temple University, 1990.

Kairos’ and liberation: A critical comparison of the theologies of history of Paul Tillich and selected Latin American liberation theologians.
Warren, William Henry, III. PH.D., Emory University, 1989.

From conquest to struggle: Jesus of Nazareth in the liberation Christology of Latin America.
Batstone, David Bruce. PH.D., Graduate Theological Union and Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, 1989.

The history and politics of liberation theology in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Afflick, Clive Henry. D.A., University of Miami, 1989.

Liberation theology as political ideology.
Murphy, Charles Alan. PH.D., The University of Tennessee, 1989.

Analysis of the deity of Christ in Boff and Segundo.
Horrell, John Scott. TH.D., Dallas Theological Seminary, 1988.

The effects of Catholic Church teaching and ministry on the process of economic development in Latin America.
Connell, Lorraine Marie. PH.D., University of Massachusetts, 1988.

A philosophical and theological assessment of Roman Catholicism in Latin America.
Eustache Vilaire, Nathan Alirio. PH.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1988.

Dangerous stories: The subversive ethic of Latin American liberation theology.
Mulholland-Wozniak, Ann A. PH.D., University of Southern California, 1987.

A rhetorical analysis of liberation theology.
Turner, Jack David. PH.D., Ohio University, 1987.

The Church and human emancipation: A critical comparison of liberation theology and the Latin American theological fraternity.
Noelliste, Dieumeme E. PH.D., Northwestern University, 1987.

Popular religion and liberation. An examination of the discussion in Latin American liberation theology.
Candelaria, Michael Richard. TH.D., Harvard University, 1987.

The concept of the poor in the context of the ecclesiology of liberation theology.
Rodor, Amin Americo. TH.D., Andrews University, 1986.

Praxis and Church in the theology of liberation.
Mora, Abdias. PH.D., Baylor University, 1986.

A critical analysis of liberation theology in the works of Jose Miguez Bonino and Ronald J. Sider.
Cooper, Roy Bissell. PH.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1986.

An historically mediated ‘pastoral’ of liberation: Gustavo Gutierrez’s pilgrimage towards socialism.
Mottesi, Osvaldo Luis. PH.D., Emory University, 1985.

The political dimension in liberation theology: The evaluation of a religious praxis.
Planas, Juan Ricardo. PH.D., The George Washington University, 1985.

Church, state and revolution: The political theory of liberation theology (Ethics, Marxism). 
Pottenger, John Robert. PH.D., University of Maryland College Park, 1984.

Religion and politics: The Middle East and Latin America.
Bakhtiari, Bahman. PH.D., University of Virginia, 1984.

The primacy of orthopraxis: Theological method in the Nicaraguan Church of the poor.
Pravera, Kate C. PH.D., Northwestern University, 1984.

Liberation theology and the Central American revolution.
Bonpane, Blasé Anthony. PH.D., University of California, Irvine, 1984.

Liberation theology in the Methodist Church of Brazil: Faith and action in six Methodist educational institutions.
Holliday, Carolyn Mauldin. PH.D., Saint Louis University, 1982.

Liberation theology method and Lonergan’s method of theologizing: A Universal Experience of Conversion.
McKenna, Marguerite Alice. TH.D., Graduate Theological Union, 1983.

Human liberation and theology: An examination of the theology of Gustavo Gutierrez, James H. Cone, and Mary Daly.
Wilson, Richard Francis. PH.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1982.

A Hermeneutic of appropriation: A case study of method in the prophet Jeremiah and Latin American liberation theology.
Romero, Claude Gilbert. PH.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1982.

Change and conflict in the contemporary Mexican Catholic Church.
Hanratty, Dennis Michael. PH.D., Duke University, 1980.

Power and powerlessness: Experiencing liberatory pedagogy and liberation theology in a First World college classroom. 
Graf, William Edward. Ed.D., The University of Rochester, 2001.

Liberation theology in Chicano literature: Manifestations of feminist and Chicano identities (Ana Castillo, John Rechy, Gloria Anzaldua, Richard Rodriguez, Sandra Cisneros).
Alvarez, Alma Rosa. Ph.D., Institution: University of California, Santa Barbara, 2000.

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