Theological Influences: Liberation Theology

God's preferential option for the poor, the heart and soul of liberation theology, that's been a big theological influence on me.

What would be "good news" for the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized? That's the question liberation theology keeps in front of me. The gospel is always moving to the margins to speak a prophetic word against the status quo.

Beyond that hermeneutical activity, liberation theology also informs my theology of solidarity, the call to stand with those who, in the words of Howard Thurman, stand with their backs against the wall. Liberation theology is why I spend nights in a prison.

To names some names, the liberation theologians that have influenced me the most are James Cone, Oscar Romero, and the father of liberation theology, Gustavo Gutierrez. And while he came before liberation theology proper, I'd also add to this mix Martin Luther King, Jr., along with the entire black church witness.

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