What is liberation today? : a critical analysis of the term liberation in Ivan Petrella's project and the Brazilian context
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Liberation theology is a political movement that grew out of the Catholic church and the wider Latin American context in the 1960s. It has been described as a moral reaction to poverty and oppression, rooted in ordinary people’s lives and experience of poverty, and expressed in a commitment to change social and political conditions. It is a call to action, a promise of liberating people from material deprivation which grew into an international movement, and this movement constructed models of political and economic organization that intended to replace the unjust status quo. Liberation theology is a new way of doing theology that involves a new use of Scripture to (re)interpret their situation, reading the Bible from the perspective of the poor and marginalized. Liberation theologians argued that in order to liberate the poor and oppressed, interpretations of the Biblical texts and other religious sources had to be done in the context of social theories, thus they made use of elements from various schools of thought. In this thesis, I will conduct a literature study focusing on Petrella’s work as the main material for my thesis, using the early work of Clodovis Boff, Leonardo Boff, and Gustavo Gutiérrez as a basis for discussing Petrella’s project. Liberation theology must maintain the goal of replacing capitalism, and not give in on this struggle, and I suggest that liberation can be obtained through a process consisting of three steps; rereading reality, imagining alternatives, and increasing political will for creating and implementing these alternatives. I don’t think the dream of liberation is utopia. A new system should and can be created - "a new and better society is always possible". As long as people are oppressed, there is a need for liberation, and I think liberation theology can contribute to this process of constructing a better tomorrow.