Benjamin: Latin American Liberation Theologian

In Fire Alarm, Michael Löwy brings Benjamin’s “Theses” into dialogue with Latin American liberation theology. One gets the impression that this connection is somehow surprising, but in fact the genealogical connection is obvious: JB Metz.

I defy any of my readers to find a major text of liberation theology (at least in the initial, “heroic” stage) that doesn’t cite Metz! I defy you!

Someone should write an essay about this, probably.

9 thoughts on “Benjamin: Latin American Liberation Theologian

  1. Note the unsung heroes of Gutierrez’s Theology of Liberation: the Nouvelle Theologie (check the footnotes) – those who would become his harshest of (sane) critics.

    (This comment seemed appropriate somehow.)

  2. Levinas keeps showing up, too. My first real liberation theology experience was Miranda, who had a ton of Levinas but who I knew was kind of an outlier in other ways, but I was surprised to find how many others were working with Levinas, too — mainly footnote kind of stuff.

    A dissertation topic: “Reading Liberation Theology’s Footnotes.”

  3. Wasn’t it Metz who came as close as any other Christian theologian to developing a Holocaust theology?

    PS Anyone want to take on an evangelical version of Liberation Theology? Jim Wallis seems to be edging around this idea very carefully and delicately, yet his pussyfooting takes the teeth from its bite.

  4. Anthony, Johann Baptist Metz. Last I checked, there was at least a “stub.”

    (Altizer’s entry was deleted due to some technicality about the original poster not being logged in properly or something.)

    CL, I don’t know.

  5. Adam, I looked into my favoritest LT text by Gutierrez, On Job, betting that you were wrong. This is the one text that I’d always include in a Bible class. Anyway, to my utter dismay, you are right. Gutierrez quotes Metz in the notes, pulling out some words from his essay on that very topic, Holocaust theology. Metz quotes Kierkegaard with regard to historicality and event.

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