A ‘golden oldie’ brought to you by a non-church-going North London science teacher!
Get past the oddness of it all. This is Zingcreed!
I maintain that the Liberation Theology project, though strangled at birth (well, a little later) by bloody pope Ratzinger, still has some mileage left in it. So I’m getting out my bicycle pump and pumping a little more air into the only show in town.
It’s TIME FOR RE-INFLATION, TIME FOR A RESURRECTION!
-Because we still have poverty and oppression in the third (and other) worlds, just like in the 1970’s.
-World commodity prices are still set in the City of London (making it the responsibility of London Christians to do something about them.)
-Western arms still keep unspeakable tyrants in power, so that we can mine their countries’ resources without interference from the populace.
-Because bankers are still, well, wankers!
-Because up to a million people in Britain depend on foodbanks.
The L.T. paradigm may have been throttled, but it’s still arguably the best thing around (Notify me of alternatives using the Comment box at bottom of page). So, from time to time in this ‘Red Christian documents’ series (30 more in the pipeline) I shall pop in a document from the days of struggle in the latter years of the 20th century.
To take it further: Google Brazilian stuff: President Lula and his Workers’ Party, and the Landless Peoples’ Movements. (MST)
Best of all, go there – airfares are so cheap these days. I’ve gone twice, and it’s like southern Europe, except for the humming birds every where (“Flower kissers” in Portuguese), and the coffee is better! By the way, Petropolis, where the Boff brothers hang out is a thriving, beautiful metropolis. Lovely place to live and work. The favelas (shanty towns) and rural poverty hubs are less accessible but shocking when you do reach them.
This 1986 statement by the Boff brothers was a landmark on the road to land reform in South America.
HOW TO DO A ‘THEOLOGY OF LAND’
by Leonardo & Clodovis Boff
Step zero: Participation
- being involved in the specific problem concerning land in the area, working in rural base communities, being active in trade unions, taking part in harvests and other field tasks, participating in the struggles of rural workers, and so forth.
Step one: Socio-analytical mediation (seeing)
- analyze the land situation as it affects the nation as a whole or the particular area where one is working;
- encourage rural workers to stand up for themselves;
- see how individuals experience their problems and how they resist oppression or organise their resistance to it;
Step two: Hermeneutical mediation (judging)
- evaluating how the populace face up to the land question on the basis of its religion and faith;
- evaluating how the bible views land (gift of God, promised land, symbol of the final kingdom to come, etc.);
- determining how theological tradition, especially as expressed by the church fathers, sees the question of land (common ownership, non-commercial character of land, etc.);
Step three: Practical mediation (acting)
- stressing the value of worker unity and organisation; unions, cooperatives, or other movements;
- publicizing the need for agrarian reform to be brought about by those who work the land;
- making a choice of particular banners under which to fight, linking with other forces, forecasting possible consequences, possible allocation of tasks etc.
Boff, L. & Boff, C. “Introducing Liberation theology” Orbis books (1986)
[306, indexed & linked, t&c]