Liberation Theology and Pentecostalism in the Americas and Africa|
Fall 2014 not offered
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 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 and Africa, 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, the growth of Christian NGOs, gender and machismo, and spiritual warfare. Case studies will include readings on Colorado Springs in the United States, Colombia, Brazil, Haiti, and Zimbabwe.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Only starred text is recommended for purchase.
*Paul Farmer, PATHOLOGIES OF POWER: HEALTH, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND THE NEW WAR ON THE POOR
Vasquez, THE BRAZILIAN POPULAR CHURCH AND THE CRISIS OF MODERNITY
Bornstein, THE SPIRIT OF DEVELOPMENT: PROTESTANT NGO's, MORALITY, AND ECONOMICS IN ZIMBABWE
Brusco: THE REFORMATION OF MACHISMO: EVANGELICAL CONVERSION AND GENDER IN COLOMBIA
Wuthnow, BOUNDLESS FAITH: THE GLOBAL OUTREACH OF AMERICAN CHURCHES
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly response papers, active participation in discussion, two class presentations, and a final 15-20 page research paper are the course requirements. Students writing theses and essays related to the course themes are encouraged to take the course.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills a "Thematic Approach" OR "Historical Tradition" Religion department requirement.