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With the emergence of liberation theology in the 1970s, Latin American theology made a bold entrance on the world scene. The immediate roots of this theology were in the efforts of the Latin American bishops at the Medellin Conference in 1968 to reflect on the implications of the Second Vatican Council for a continent marked by poverty and social injustice. That conference charted a new “preferential option for the poor,” and it also fostered a new method of theology, rooted in the experience and perspective of those on the margins.
Maria Clara Bingemer, a key protagonist in the development of Latin American theology, provides a succinct summary of this history and its distinctive elements. She goes on to show how this theology grew and adapted to new challenges, including the issues of gender, the role of indigenous voices, concern for ecology, and dialogue with other religious traditions.
Maria Clara Bingemer is Professor in Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. Among her works in English are (as coauthor), Mary: Mother of God, Mother of the Poor, and (as co-editor), Witnessing: Prophecy, Politics, and Wisdom.
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