José María VIGIL (editor)
M. Amaladoss, M. Barros, A. Brighenti,
E.K-F. Chia, A. Egea, P.F. Knitter, D.R. Loy,
L. Magesa, J. Neusner, I.A. Omar, T. Okure,
R. Panikkar, P.C. Phan, A. Pieris, R. Renshaw,
J.A. Robles, K.L. Seshagiri, A.M.L. Soares,
International Theological Commission of
ECUMENICAL ASSOCIATION OF THIRD WORLD THEOLOGIANS
Download free PDF file (198 pages)
This book is written for all those who are preoccupied by the future of theology: Where is it headed? How far can it go? Where does it seem to be going?
The result of the investigation that this book presents, directed as it is to people devoted to theology throughout the world and in different world religions, draws a conclusion that is not only positive but a source of enthusiasm: In spite of what many believe, theology is moving, is evolving, is taking risks, is questioning itself, is asking about the transformations that have to be brought about so that it can be a theology for today and a theology for the future. As the religious discipline that it is, it has always been tinged with a halo of eternity, of unquestionability, of immutibility. It seemed that theology—that sacred science!—could not change its classical figure as patrimony of religions and Churches. Continue reading
An editorial addressed to his fellow U.S. citizens by Dennis Rivers
January 6, 2020
In the name of Jesus, who said “love your enemies,” and from the Inner Light of my own heart, I mourn the death of every person killed in war, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani of Iran included. May his children find consolation on the loss of their father.
To all those American politicians and commentators who have just said loudly, “No American will mourn the death of this man,” I ask this question: Is this the best that America can do? Is this all that America can do? How can we ask God to bless America if all America can do is kill people, assassinate leaders of other countries, and then threaten to kill even more people after that?
There MUST be a better way. We cannot possibly be so smart that we can put rovers on Mars, and then be so dumb that we can’t work out our disagreements with other countries. Continue reading
LATEST ADDITION TO OUR LIBRARY OF FREE BOOKS:
Social Ecology, Ecojustice and the New Testament
Carlos Alberto Sintado
Our planet Earth is going through an unprecedented crisis. The current ecological predicament is such that has the potential to annihilate life as we know it today. It is a global phenomenon that concerns every human being and even the whole creation itself. The international community and many organizations have issued persistent calls to change habits and behaviors as well as the basic organizational pattern of societies to make this world sustainable for future generations.
The Spirituality of Liberation (PDF)
By Pedro Casaldáliga and José Maria Vigil
(released in free PDF format by authors)
From the Prologue:
The theology of liberation had to produce a spirituality of liberation. In effect it has done so. This is the subject of this book.
This is, as one might have expected, a new spirituality, different from the traditional spirituality in which we older people were brought up. It is also a specifically Latin-Ameri- can spirituality. Like the church itself, it is no less universal for being local. And it is a realist and not a theoretical spirituality.
This spirituality is radically different from that of those who close their eyes to society and politics: that is, to the poor, to the ever-widening abyss betwen rich and poor. This means that it is different from the bourgeois spirituality of the rich and the ‘ ruling classes—though these also contain poor, blind led by blind guides, poor people who also shut their eyes, to poverty, and to themselves.
This spirituality says radical things, and the reader will find them in this book: such as that the poor are the only sacrament for salvation. And that people are divided not into believers and unbelievers, but according to their attitude to the poor.
Also from these authors, in multiple languages, The Latin American Agenda, an index of twenty-seven years of writing, collecting, editing and publishing scholarly materials on social and religious challenges, visions, progress and problems in Latin America.
July 15, 2019
Here is a quote from the neoconservative writer Michael Gerson, from a recent article in the Washington Post:
“The problem, however, is not merely a matter of management. The deeper scandal is this: Trump is trying to make desperate, suffering people the villains of our national story. He compares refugees fleeing repression and violence to snakes. He smears them as rapists and invaders . In his warped moral vision, mercy is a form of national weakness. Kindness and respect are crimes against the state. His approach to nationalism involves slander against the voiceless. It demands further oppression of the oppressed. Trump wants to change not just the policy of our government, but also the character of our country, into something hard, and dark, and dishonorable, and pitiless.
This is surely the kind of thing that people of faith exist to oppose. Christians in particular worship a God who put on the cloak of human need and weakness. A refugee God. A scarred God. A God sacrificed to political necessity, in front of a crowd claiming to serve justice and law.
What does “God is love” mean if it does not mean love for refugees? What does the “image of God” indicate if we refuse to see it in the wandering poor?”
A clear and heartfelt speech given on the steps of
Santa Barbara City Hall in July of 2019.
Click image above to view Facebook video recorded by Sarah Maiani
at Santa Barbara’s #LightsForLiberty event.
A PENDLE HILL VIDEO ON YOUTUBE
We will explore developing a contemporary Jewish Theology of Liberation that takes into account our biblical tradition and yet cannot be limited by it. Some issues we will look at are the balance of particularism and universalism, inclusivity, balancing the Divine Nature of “I Shall Be What I Shall Be” with the Divine Nature of “This Is What Is”, or differently, “There shall be no poor among you” with “There will always be poor.” This will all be in the context of addressing the fierce urgency of now and will be informed by other traditions. There will be a significant experiential component.
Published by Pendle Hill. Pendle Hill is a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center welcoming all for Spirit-led learning and community, located in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Located on 24 tranquil acres in the heart of a Quaker community, Pendle Hill offers a relaxing “world apart,” yet is within easy reach by car, plane, bus, or train. Our vision, “to create peace with justice in the world by transforming lives,” is moved forward in worship, presentations, weekend workshops and retreats, short courses, and remarkable conversations.
Alberta Tar Sands — Photo from EricWalberg.com
Dennis Rivers, November 2016
This week I’ve been thinking about the struggles going on to protect water supplies on the Standing Rock Reservation, and about the Alberta tar sands projects only a few hundred miles to the north. For native peoples around the world, the Earth Herself is sacred, and Her waters as well. So poisoning the Earth, or building industrial projects that create an ongoing unknown risk of poisoning the land and water, are not just material or political issues. They are spiritual and religious issues as well. This is not a theoretical risk at all. Large amounts of Dine (Navajo) land and water have been permanently poisoned with radioactive waste from uranium mining, causing a giant spike in cancer rates. And the Alberta Tar Sands photos speak for themselves. So native peoples have little reason to trust the assurances that they, their land, and their water, are not in danger from the white man’s projects.
Reflecting on the corporations willing to endanger someone else’s water supply in order to get rich building oil pipelines, I think it is time that we gave a proper name to the psychological illness that has been haunting us for several centuries: PIDM: profit-induced-destructive-mania. I intend to rally my friends within the counseling profession to have PIDM added to the DSM-5 as a recognized mental illness. Continue reading
A Theology of Liberation
History, Politics, and Salvation
By Gustavo Gutiérrez
This is the credo and seminal text of the movement which was later characterized as liberation theology. The book burst upon the scene in the early seventies, and was swiftly acknowledged as a pioneering and prophetic approach to theology which famously made an option for the poor, placing the exploited, the alienated, and the economically wretched at the centre of a programme where “the oppressed and maimed and blind and lame” were prioritized at the expense of those who either maintained the status quo or who abused the structures of power for their own ends. This powerful, compassionate and radical book attracted criticism for daring to mix politics and religion in so explicit a manner, but was also welcomed by those who had the capacity to see that its agenda was nothing more nor less than to give “good news to the poor”, and redeem God’s people from bondage. [Description from Fishpond Books Australia].
By Dennis Rivers — January, 2013
An introduction to Conscience Behind Bars / the Prison Letters of Norman Lowry
Is it possible to quietly and unobtrusively live an honorable life in the middle of a dishonorable society?
Whatever your answer to this question, I appeal to you not to answer it too quickly. I am convinced that if you live with the question for a while, you will come to see how impossible it is to turn away from the injustices of one’s time, and not, by gradual degrees, become an accomplice to them. I doubt that anyone on earth actually wants this realization, but when it arrives, you can’t send it back.
Norman Lowry’s time in prison and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s time in the Birmingham jail are separated by half a century. Many things have changed in that half-century, but one thing is certainly the same: the struggle of a person to do the right thing when confronted with massacres and blatant violations of human rights and human dignity.