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THE 548 Theology with and for the World

"Theologies of hope and liberation" refers to a group of reflections about God, the church, Jesus Christ, and the Christian life in relation to human freedom and fulfillment, which have developed among the poor and oppressed in the United States, in the "two-thirds" world, and from European theologians, all of whom argue that the task of theology is necessarily entwined with the well-being (spiritual, material, psychological) of the entire community. Students in this course study the foundational texts in liberation, black, feminist, and post-colonial theologies and how these approaches have subsequently evolved, as well as to the responses, both affirmative and critical, to these theologies from the more mainstream theological community. The course seeks to understand the context in which each theological approach arose, particularly the authors' experiences of severe poverty, brutal repression, political disenfranchisement, social marginalization, or racial or gender hatred, as well as to investigate contemporary instances of massive public suffering that demand a theological response from the church and the world.