Biblical Interpretation as Political Practice, I: Socio-political Hermeneutics and Liberation Theology

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Part I of an essay published in: Theology and the Crisis of Engagement: Essays in Honor of Lee Cormie, edited by J. Nowers and N. Medina (Eugene:Pickwick Publications, 2013). 7pp.

There have been few North American theologians in the past three decades who
have seriously attempted to bridge the longstanding gulf that exists between the
seminaries, the sanctuaries and the streets. Of those few, Lee Cormie stands out as
one of the most passionate and exemplary. As our paths have crossed at
conferences, demonstrations and ecumenical services, I have always appreciated
conversations with Lee, whose grounded theological perspectives and active
commitments to social analysis and strategic action are encouraging and clarifying.
It is in this integrative spirit, and in deep appreciation for Lee’s work and witness,
that I offer the following reflections on the uses of scripture for engaging social

During the 1970s, Christian liberation theologies percolated throughout Latin
America, Africa and Asia, as well as among Third World communities within First
World countries. These diverse theologies generally shared three characteristics:

• a grounding in practices of popular education and pastoral work among
the poor;

• reflection generated from contexts of violence, poverty and oppression;

• alignment with social movements of service to the marginalized,
advocacy and sometimes revolutionary engagement.

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by Ched Myers

All articles on this site were written by Ched Myers unless otherwise specified.