Save Us from Cynicism: Religion and Social Class

Part of the New Approaches to Religion and Power book series (NARP)


In the early 1970s, Hugo Assmann, one of the primary Latin American liberation theologians, wrote:

Any kind of Christian theology today, even in rich and dominant countries, which does not have as its starting point the historic situation of dependence and domination of two thirds of humankind, with its 30 million dead of hunger and malnutrition, will not be able to position and concretize historically its fundamental themes. Its questions will not be the real questions. It will not touch the real person. As observed by a participant in the Buenos Aires gathering, “theology must be rescued from its cynicism.” Certainly, in the face of the problems of today’s world, many theological writings are reduced to cynicism.1

After more than 40 years, this text is still relevant. While it is true that with economic globalization, the concrete form in which the economy operates on a global scale has changed and the numbers on poverty are also different, the fundamental ideas of this paragraph continue to challenge us.


Middle Class Social Ethic Christian Church Liberation Theologian Moral Conscience 
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© Joerg Rieger 2013

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