Lamennais and Liberation Theology

This essay explores the historical antecedents of liberation theology from the vantage point of the internal dynamics of the nineteenth-century French Catholic liberal tradition in general and the works of Félicité- Robert de Lamennais (1782-1854) in particular. The common ground between Lamennais's Christian socialism and the major precepts of liberation theology as expressed by Sustavo Gutiérrez, Leonardo Boff and Jon Sobrino focus on seven key issues: liberation, church, justice, developmentalism versus dependency theory, salvation, sin and the kingdom of God. Lamennais's messianic projection of humanity's evolution towards a spiritual encounter with God on earth foreshadows the existential utopian concept of the kingdom of God envisioned by twentieth-century liberation theologians. (TJB) [Relationship to liberation theology in Latin America.] (NAH)
Braga, Thomas J
Volume 1989-1990 Fall-Winter; 18(1-2): 85-101