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Deborah Gyapong Catholic News Service | Nov. 10, 2014
Ottawa, Ontario

Liberation theology, which interprets the teachings of Christ in relation to liberation from unjust social, economic and political conditions, is rooted in the Bible and the life of Jesus, said the priest who developed the concept nearly 50 years ago.

Dominican Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez told an audience Nov. 7 at St. Paul University in Ottawa that “theology is a hermeneutic of hope. Theology touches on the motive, the story of our Lord in history.”

“Theology is a letter of love to God,” the Peruvian theologian known as the father of liberation theology added during a program in which he received an honorary doctorate.

“Theology is not a perfect response to that question, but an effort to respond,” he said, noting the immense suffering and mystery of poverty.

Since liberation theology arose in the 1960s, its reputation has suffered from time to time through associations with Marxism, utopian thinking and even armed struggle.

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