Liberation Theology in Latin America Essay

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The populist governments, seen in the 1950’s and 1960’s in South America, spurred industrial growth and a sense of “consciousness” amongst the inhabitants of the Latin American countries. The industrial growth greatly benefited the middle-class and the working-class; however, the poor were driven into shantytowns and rural areas. To illustrate the great poverty of this time in Latin America, people living in “shantytowns” resided in vast settlements built of cardboard and other available materials such as metal and sheets of plastic. These “towns” frequently lacked proper sanitation. One could imagine how living in these shantytowns would degrade the human spirit and foster a sense of worthlessness. The abrupt shift in the social classes resulted in key movements being developed by groups of individuals in an attempt to change the social structure of their respective countries. In turn, these popular movements led to the rise of dictatorships aimed to control the people and protect the desires of the country (Introducing Liberation Theology). The social, political, and economical atmosphere of this time proved prime for religious change and new ideals.
In the early 1960’s, the churches in Latin America experienced a much-needed sense of revitalization. The church eagerly sought to improve the living conditions

for its congregation and the general population alike. The church began to place a larger emphasis on its social mission; priests and other Theologians readily
encouraged calls for modernization and progress in these Latin American communities. Illustrating this shift, congregations began to work with the poor to
improve their situations. The popular movements coming together with the church provided the framework ...

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...ential Option for the Poor." National Catholic Reporter. National Catholic Reporter Publications, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.
Hillar, Marian, and H. Richard. Leuchtag. "Liberation Theology: Religious Response to Social Problems." Humanism and Social Issues: Anthology of Essays. Houston: Humanists Involved in Greater Houston, 1993. 35-52. Print.
"An Introduction to Gustavo Gutierrez and Liberation Theology." Web log post. Seeking the Kingdom. N.p., 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.
"Liberation Theology-Introduction." SMCVT Academics. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
"Liberation Theology." Theopedia. Theopedia, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014.
Lynch, Edward A.
"The Retreat of Liberation Theology." Catholic Culture. Trinity Communications, n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.

Rhodes, Ron. "Liberation Theology." Liberation Theology. Reasoning from Scriptures Ministries, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.

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