Original Research

Latin American liberation theology: Does it fit in the schema of African theology of reconstruction?

Julius M. Gathogo
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2103 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2103 | © 2021 Julius M. Gathogo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2020 | Published: 17 February 2021

About the author(s)

Julius M. Gathogo, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Kenyatta University, Mombasa, Kenya; and, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Three decades after the proposal for a shift of theological paradigm, from liberation to reconstruction in an African context (1990-2020), it is worthwhile to ask: Was this proposal timely? Did the proposal speak for other related theologies of liberation in the majority-world such as Black theology of North America and more specifically, Latin American liberation theology? In this proposal, African theologies of liberation were urged to embrace this shift as the new norm. Such African theologies includes: African theology (the mother), Black theology of South Africa, and African women’s theology among others. Hence the proposal was contextual in that Africa was moving towards total independence from ‘Pharaohs’ who had colonised Africa since the Berlin conference of 1885/1886. With the African agenda appearing to have been taken care of, it is worthwhile to ask: Does this ‘well-taken care of’ African agenda mean anything to other liberationists theologians in the majority-world such as the Latin American liberation theology? This article sets on the premise that liberation theology can be done within reconstruction theology and vice versa, and as the situation and context demands. Hence, it is possible to cry for ‘liberation’ when in reality, it is liberation to reconstruct and/or liberation to consolidate the gains of previous liberation hence reconstruction. In its method and design, the article reviews the existing literature while making a critical analysis on matters under consideration.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article explores the notion of reconstruction in an African context and gives it a global dimension by drawing from other contemporary theologies of the Majority-World such as Latin American theology and Black theology of North America. It involves the disciplines of Systematic theology, Contemporary theology, Liberation and Reconstruction theologies, and Missiology.


Latin American liberation theology; African theology of reconstruction; Liberation theology; Majority World theologies; Black theology


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Crossref Citations

1. Nyawiras as communal liberators: Accounting for life preservation roles among African women
Julius M. Gathogo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 79  issue: 3  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v79i3.8745