Liberation ecclesiologies with special reference to Latin America

Michelle A. Gonzalez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter starts by reflecting on the historic European and North American dominance of theology, including ecclesiology, and by noting that in recent decades minority voices from the global South have begun to make themselves heard, salient among them liberation theologians. Liberation theology, emanating from-but not confined to-Latin America, is introduced. It has developed a new theological method, with radical implications for ecclesiology. In liberation theology the principal subjects of the church are not the members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, but the poor or otherwise marginalized, gathered in 'base communities' to read the Bible in the light of their experience of oppression. The gospel message is not primarily concerned with individual salvation but with social and economic justice and the sustaining of communities of mutual support. The targets of Liberation Theology also include colonialism, racism and ethnocentrism, gender discrimination, and oppression on grounds of sexual orientation..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Ecclesiology
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780199645831
StatePublished - Jul 10 2018


  • Base Christian Communities
  • Church of the Poor
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez
  • Latin America
  • Liberation theology
  • Oscar Romero
  • Pentecostalism
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Vatican II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Liberation ecclesiologies with special reference to Latin America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this