Óscar Romero, Pope Francis and Liberation Theologies

This past Tuesday, February 3, the Óscar Romero Roman Catholic Church officially recognised the martyrdom of the Salvadorian Archbishop Óscar Romero. Fifteen years after he was assassinated in the middle of mass, the Pope’s decision brings Romero one step closer in being declared a Saint. While many hoped he would be declared a martyr much earlier, some suspected this process was delayed by Romero’s association with Latin American liberation theology.1 Continue reading “Óscar Romero, Pope Francis and Liberation Theologies”

Has post-Mao China Developed a Liberation Theology?

In 1985, Bishop K. H. Ting (丁光训) introduced to students at Nanjing Seminary several foreign theologies that he felt could inspire Chinese Christians.1  Though he was particularly drawn to process theology and the theology of Teilhard de Chardin, his comments on Latin American liberation theology were quite curious.  He believed that, rather than focusing on an otherworldly theology that asks whether ‘one goes to heaven or hell after death. The central theological problem should be the human world, how we enable people to live a life of human dignity once they are in the world.’2  Ultimately, however, Ting believed China did not need a liberation theology because China was already ‘liberated’ through the communist victory of 1949.3

Yet liberation theologies (e.g., Latin American, Black theology, Minjung theology, Dalit theology, etc.) often emphasise two reformulations of classic Christology: Christ as a liberation and Christ as a fellow-sufferer.  While the more triumphalist understanding of Christ as liberator may not be prominent in post-Mao China, Christ who accompanies those who suffer has. Continue reading “Has post-Mao China Developed a Liberation Theology?”