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The factors at play in the fate of liberation theology in Peru

Theologies and Liberation in Peru

The Role of Ideas in Social Movements

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Milagros Peña

Milagros Peña investigates how social protest has become a significant aspect of religious ideology throughout Latin America, particularly with the emergence of liberation theology in Peru. Through extensive research of archived documents, newspapers, and interviews with Catholic theologians of all persuasions, including Father Gustavo Gutiérrez, and other central figures in Peru's social movements, Peña assesses the fate of liberation theology, its strengths and weaknesses, and the responses of such conservative Catholic movements as Sodalitium Vitae and Opus Dei, with their theology of reconciliation.

This in-depth analysis coves the various historical periods of religious action and counter-action in Peru: the Church's control over education and cultural institutions; anticlericalism; the Catholic Action movement; the radicalization of the Catholic Church that produced liberation theology and its support of poor people's causes; and the response of the conservative Catholic right, which, with the support of Pope John Paul II, attacked liberation theology as Marxist and as a promoting violence and guerrilla warfare. Theologies and Liberation in Peru shows the significance of ideas in social movement mobilization either for change or for stability, either to guide mass protest or to thwart it.

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Contents

Preface
1. Liberation and Reconciliation: Clashing Political Interests
2. The Catholic Church in Peru
3. Liberation Theology in Peru
4. Opposition to Liberation Theology
5. The Catholic Right in Peru
Epilogue
Appendix: Persons Interviewed
References
Index

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About the Author(s)

Milagros Peña is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Sociology at Bowling Green State University.

Subject Categories

Religion
Latin American/Caribbean Studies

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