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Liberation Theology Essay

5424 words - 22 pages

Violence has existed for as long as there were men on Earth to take notice of it. Killings in nature do not fit into the category of violence since predatory animals kill to sustain themselves and remains the only option available to them. In the history of human civilization, man has never needed to kill another man in order to keep himself alive such as in the animal kingdom. A man’s basic needs can easily be met without the loss of another’s life. However, as a result of war, genocide, and just random killings, billions of lives have been taken. Although it can be argued that some of these killings have been random, or as the result of an accident, the majority occur over one basic ...view middle of the document...

However, the faith lived on based on the strong example set by Jesus which gave the persecuted something to follow Because of this history based in violence and disagreement of public opinion, one would think that the Church would have been a bit more understanding when faced with opposition of their views later on in history. Sadly enough, this wasn’t true. The fact is that since it became a recognized faith, the Christian Church has been one of the most rampant culprits of violence in the name of differing opinion. From offenses such as torturing and burning at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition to the genocide of indigenous peoples because of their “immoral” and “unchristian” lifestyle, many have died at the hands of a faith based on love, forgiveness, and the belief in a tortured prophet.
Because of this, in the modern world, the religious community is posed with the pressing question, “How can a faith include as many people as it possibly can by catering to their needs.” In other words, “How can a faith accommodate many different people?” By modifying Christianity in order to make more people feel welcomed, there will be no more of the violent conflict that had existed in the past. In addition to this, “How should the faith react to those that want nothing to do with it?” must also be asked. No matter how open-ended Christianity is made, there will always be those who still do not feel as if they want to be a part of it. These questions are applied to three different groups of people in readings: Woman Spirit Rising by Carol P. Christ and Judith Plasgow, Essential Writings by Gustavo Gutierrez, and A Reader by Wilfred Cantwell Smith. For many of the writers found in Woman Spirit Rising, the focus is on making women feel more welcomed in the Christian faith, which historically has been very patriarchal in nature. For Gutierrez’s writings, his goal is to make the poor and less fortunate feel welcomed in their faith despite the fact that they may be shunned by their government. And finally, Cantwell-Smith discusses what should be done to achieve dialogue between those who associate with Christianity and those who associate with Islam. Christians, according to Cantwell-Smith, shouldn’t shun or try and convert those of other faiths, but instead, engage in productive dialogue. Put quite simply, the greatest challenge of the Christian Church in the modern day is to distance itself from its past wrongs. Only by doing so will it survive in the modern world.
The Christian Church, more specifically, the Catholic Church has always been regarded as a strongly patriarchal institution. This can be seen in the overwhelming use of words such as “Father”, “Son”, “man”, and “He”. The fact that only males are allowed to become priests only compounds to this overwhelming sense of a favoritism towards men. However, on the other hand, the view of the feminist presence in the modern world also appears to be a very one-sided issue. ...

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