“You ask, ‘Who are you?’ . . . It would be better to ask the crucified people. They know who we are, who I am—an answer that is not far from another traditional reply: God knows us better than we know ourselves.”
Jon Sobrino, a Jesuit priest in El Salvador, is one of the original voices of liberation theology and among the most influential and prophetic theologians in the church today. After studies in Germany, he returned to El Salvador, where his immersion in the world of the suffering poor transformed his theology. It was like “awakening from the sleep of inhumanity.” From this perspective came a new understanding of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, and their meaning for the “crucified peoples” of the planet.
Sobrino’s work was further shaped by his relationship to Saint Oscar Romero and the other martyrs of El Salvador, particularly his own Jesuit community, who were massacred in 1989. This collection of his “spiritual writings,” which includies many texts available for the first time in English, conveys a powerful understanding of the meaning of discipleship in terms of solidarity with the poor and rejected people of our world.
Robert Lassalle-Klein is professor of religious studies and philosophy at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. He is the author of Blood and Ink: Ignacio Ellacuría, Jon Sobrino, and the Jesuit Martyrs of the University of Central America (Orbis 2014), and co-editor of Love That Produces Hope: The Thought of Ignacio Ellacuría (Liturgical Press).
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