Globalization - Liberation Theology versus Neo-liberalism

Essay by seren1516College, UndergraduateA+, October 2008

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Liberation Theology versus Neo-liberalism

Liberation Theology, a concept brought about in the 1970's, responds to globalization in a variety of ways. The view of most Liberation Theologians is that economically globalization cannot do much to help the poor. Instead, globalization does things that affect the poor in negative ways widening the wage gap. Neoliberalism, a movement that has its roots in the same time period beginning in the 1960's, responds to globalization in a much more positive fashion. Neo-liberalists are fans of the free market and attempt to blend traditional liberal concerns for social justice with an emphasis on economic expansion. Although these two camps appear to be very different in goals, they do share some similarities in that they both have concerns for social justice. However, they differ greatly in their views of how this justice is to be obtained and what role globalization plays in the pursuit of this goal.

Webster's online dictionary defines Liberation Theology as "a religious movement especially among Roman Catholic clergy in Latin America that combines political philosophy usually of a Marxist orientation with a theology of salvation as liberation from injustice". Liberation Theology mainly emerged in the 1960's and came about from a variety of different factors. The second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church played an important role in bringing about Liberation Theology. During Vatican two, the Catholic church "affirmed the role of lay people in the church, emphasized the importance of the church working as a sign of the kingdom in the world, and proclaimed the central importance of human rights and dignity" (Pattison 25). These assertions made in Vatican Two are said to have been key contributors to the success of the Cuban revolution in Latin America. As a result of this, Christian activists began to see the possibility of...