The second book I read after my comprehensive exams ended was Teología de la liberación by Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P. (The first was the latest Miss Kopp adventure.) It seemed ludicrous that I’d gotten this far as a student of Latin American Catholicism without reading it. But like many people, like many of you I bet, I thought I knew what liberation theology was already. The term carried that generic brown Marxist anger that I’d been told to associate with it, the presumptive disdain for reducing the Gospel to a political program, the caution of English speakers when they mention liberation as distinct from liberty.
Instead, I was profoundly surprised by this book, and I think some of you might be too.