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Liberation Theology and Pentecostalism in the Americas and Africa
RELI 279
Fall 2010
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: LAST 306

This course tackles the question: If liberation theology advocates a preferential option for the poor, why do the poor in the Americas often choose a preferential option for evangelical Protestantism? We will examine how liberation theology offers those concerned with human rights a moral compass for future action. For liberation theology, "the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order" (Guiterrez, 1983). Indeed, liberation theology has been a powerful influence in many human rights movements in the Americas, from the Sandinista revolution to social movements in grassroots Brazil and Haiti. In contrast, for evangelical Christianity, the largest-growing religious movement in the Americans today, the common good is a by-product of the righteous lives of believers as they enact the outward signs of personal salvation. This course examines both religious thought and analysis of various Christianities of the Americas, with particular attention to the ways religious thinkers and communities grapple with and resolve questions of human rights, evangelizing, and structural inequalities that arise in the recent era of globalization and neoliberal capitalism. Other topics will include the prosperity gospel, gender and machismo, and spiritual warfare. Case studies will include readings on Colorado Springs, U.S.; Colombia; Brazil; Haiti; and Nigeria.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS RELI
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (LAST)(RELI)(SISP-Reli Conc)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-16-2014
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