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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Theology and Ethics

Postgraduate Course: Liberation Theology in Context (THET11048)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a level 11 course for students interested in exploring liberation theology in a variety of geographic and thematic contexts, including class, gender, race, and empire. There will be discussions of theology in Latin America in the 1950/60s and the consequent theological movements that have a similar focus on liberation. These movements include but are not limited to: Feminist, Black, Womanist, LGBTQ, Mujerista, Palestinian, Minjung, and Dalit theology. In order to provide a non-Christian perspective, Islamic examples will also be engaged, focusing on liberation theology, Black theology, and feminist theology. Throughout the course, close attention will be paid to methodology (praxis, preferential option for the poor) and the conceptualization of God, and of religion as a whole, from the vantage point of the margins.
Course description Academic Description:

This course aims to:
- Explore the historic developments of liberation theology in the Latin American context
- Provide a comparative analysis of the development of differing interpretations of liberation theology in context;
- Engage with continuing discussions and debates surrounding liberation theology.
- Examine the complex role of interpretive method ('hermeneutics') in shaping religious understanding and practice
- Unpack the diverse, interfaith history of liberation theology by also engaging Islamic perspectives on the subject

Syllabus Outline/Content:

Week 1 Course Introduction
Week 2 Latin American Liberation Theology
Week 3 On Class, Poverty, and Theology
Week 4 Beyond Christianity I: Islamic Liberation Theology
Week 5 On Race: Black Theology
Week 6 Beyond Christianity II: Black Theology in Islam
Week 7 On Gender: Feminist & Queer Theology
Week 8 Beyond Christianity III: Women's Readings of the Qur'an
Week 9 Student Presentations I
Week 10 Student Presentations II
Week 11 Concluding Thoughts: The Future of Liberation Theology

Student learning experience information:

The class will be divided into two components: a lecture and a discussion. Students are expected to carefully complete the weekly readings before each class, as the discussion will revolve around the readings and the lecture material. Level 11 students will have a 3,000 word research essay, which can be based on any topic within liberation theology. The second assessment will be a presentation, in which students will share their research with the rest of the class. Further details about each assessment will be provided in class.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the cultural, political and religious circumstances that led to the development of liberation theology.
  2. Discern the differences and similarities in liberating theological understandings in a variety of contexts.
  3. Express informed opinions on current discussions and debates pertaining to liberation theology with peers.
  4. Engage in constructive and critical debate with peers in a Masters level seminar.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of key thinkers and ideas in the field of liberation theology.
Reading List
Shabbir Akhtar, Islam as Political Religion (London: Routledge, 2010).
Marcella Althaus-Reid, From Feminist Theology to Indecent Theology (London: SCM Press, 2011).

Marcella Althaus-Reid, Indecent Theology (Abingdon: Routledge, 2000).

Marcella Althaus-Reid, Liberation Theology and Sexuality (Reclaiming Liberation Theology) (SCM, 2009).

Marcella Althaus-Reid, The Queer God (London: Routledge, 2003).

Marcella Althaus-Reid, Trans/Formations (London: SCM Press, 2009).

Naim Ateek, Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Liberation Theology (New York: Orbis, 1989).

Naim Ateek, A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation (New York: Orbis, 2010).

Asma Barlas, ¿The Qur¿an and Hermeneutics: Reading the Qur¿an¿s Opposition to Patriarchy¿ Journal of Qur¿anic Studies (3) 2001

Robert Bocock and Kenneth Thompson, eds. Religion and Ideology (Manchester: MUP, 1985).

Katie Cannon, Black Womanist Ethics (Oxford: OUP, 1988).

Patrick Cheng, From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ (New York: Seabury Books, 2011).

Patrick Cheng, Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology (New York: Seabury Books, 2011).

Rebecca S. Chopp, The Praxis of Suffering: An Interpretation of Liberation and Political Theologies (Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2007).

Sathianathan Clarke, Dalit Theology in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford: OUP India, 2010).

Jose Comblin, The Holy Spirit and Liberation (Burns and Oates, 1989).

James Cone, Black Theology of Liberation (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2010, anniversary ed.).

James Cone, God of the Oppressed (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1997, reprint).

T. Cooper, The Re emergence of Liberation Theologies: Models for the Twenty-First Century (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

George Cummings, Cut Loose your Stammering Tongue: Black Theology in the Slave Narratives (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1991).

Hamid Dabashi, Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the Empire (Abingdon: Routledge, 2008).

Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986).

Mary Daly, Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy (The Women's Press Ltd, 2001, reprint).

Mary Daly, The Church and the Second Sex (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985).

Marc Ellis, Towards a Jewish Theology of Liberation (London: SCM Press, 2002, reprint).

Farid Esack, ¿In Search of Progressive Islam Beyond 9/11¿. In Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, Pluralism. Oxford: Oneworld, 2003.

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, But She Said: Feminist Practices of Biblical Interpretation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Jesus and the Politics of Interpretation (London: Continuum Press, 2001, reprint).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, The Power of the Word: Scripture and the Rhetoric of the Empire (Augsburg Fortress, 2007).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Transforming Vision: Explorations in Feminist The*logy (Augsburg Fortress, 2011).

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (London: Penguin Books, 1996, reprint).

Mary Fulkerson, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theology (Oxford, OUP, 2014).

Mary Grey, A Cry for Dignity: Religion, Violence, and the Struggle of Dalit Women in India (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010).

John W. De Gruchy, Reconciliation: Restoring Justice (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002).

Gustavo Gutiérrez, trans. Matthew O'Connell. A Theology of Liberation (Maryknoll: SCM, reprint 1988).

Gustavo Gutiérrez and Gerhard Muller, On the Side of the Poor: The Theology of Liberation (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2015).

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation (Rider: 1999, reprint).

Alfred Hennelly, Liberation Theologies: The Global Pursuit of Justice (Mystic CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1997).

Dwight Hopkins, Introducing Black Theology of Liberation (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1999).

Dwight Hopkins, The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology (Cambridge, CUP, 2012).

Lisa Isherwood, ed. Controversies in Queer Theology (London: SCM Press, 2011).

Lisa Isherwood, Introducing Feminist Theology (Sheffield: Sheffield Academics Press, 2001)

Nyasha Junior, Womanist Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox, 2015).

Rifat Kassis, Kairos For Palestine (Palestine: Badayl, 2011).

Alistair Kee, Marx and the Failure of Liberation Theology (SCM Press, 1990).

Yung Suk Kim, ed. Reading Minjung Theology in the Twenty-First Century (Pickwick Publications, 2013).

El Kornegay Jr., A Queering of Black Theology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, reprint).

Chung Hyun Kyung, Struggle to be Sun Again (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1990).

Kwok Pui Lan, Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology (London: SCM Press, 2010).

Pamela Lightsey, Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology (Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2015).

Ann Loades, ed. Feminist Theology: A Reader (London: SPCK 1990).

Gerard Loughlin, Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body (Malden MA: Blackwell, 2007).

Nur Masalha and Lisa Isherwood, eds. Theologies of Liberation in Palestine-Israel (Oregon, Wipf and Stock, 2002).

Muriel Orevillo-Montenegro, The Jesus of Asian Women (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2006).

Susan Parsons, The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology (Cambridge: CUP, 2010).

Philip Vinod Peacock, Dalit Theology in the Twenty-First Century: Discordant Voices, Discerning Pathways (Oxford: OUP India, 2010).

Ivan Petrella, Beyond Liberation Theology: A Polemic (London: SCM Press, 2008).

Ivan Petrella, Future of Liberation Theology: An Argument and Manifesto (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004).

Aloysius Pieris, An Asian Theology of Liberation (London: T and T Clark, 1988).

Mitri Raheb, Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible Through Palestinian Eyes (New York: Orbis, 2014).

Mitri Raheb, Sailing Through Troubled Waters: Christianity in the Middle East (Diyar Publishing, 2013).

Shadaab Rahemtulla, Qur¿an of the Oppressed: Liberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Peniel Rajkumar, Dalit Theology and Dalit Liberation: Problems, Paradigms and Possibilities (New York: Routledge, 2016).

Anantanand Rambachan, A Hindu Theology of Liberation (New York: State University of New York Press, 2015).

Anthony G. Reddie, Working Against the Grain: Black Theology in the 21st Century (New York: Routledge, 2014).

J. Deotis Roberts, Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology (Louisville: WJK, 2005).

Christopher Rowland, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology (Cambridge: CUP, 2007).

Rosemary Radford Ruether, Sexism and God-Talk: Towards a Feminist Theology (London: SCM Press, 2010, reprint).

Joerg Rieger ed., Religion, Theology, and Class: Fresh Engagements after Long Silence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Robert Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies (New York: Orbis, 1997).

Juan Segundo, Liberation of Theology (Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2002).

Zoe Sherinian, Tamil Folk Music as Dalit Liberation Theology (Indiana: IUP, 2014).

Nicola Slee, Faith and Feminism: An Introduction to Christian Feminist Theology (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2003).

Christian Smith, The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and Social Movement Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1991).

Jon Sobrino, Jesus in Latin America (Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2004).

Jon Sobrino, Jesus the Liberator: A Historical Theological Reading of Jesus of Nazareth (London: Continuum International Publishing, 1994).

Kathleen Talvacchia, Queer Christianities: Lived Religion in Transgressive Forms (New York, NYU Press, 2014).

Elizabeth Templeton, ed. A Woman's Place? (Edinburgh: St. Andrews Press, 1993).

David Tombs, Latin American Liberation Theology (Brill, 2003).

Phyllis Trible, Texts of Terror: Literary Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Fortress Press, 1984).

Amina Wadud, Qur¿an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman¿s Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Alain Weaver, States of Exile (Scottdale: Herald, 2008).

Delores Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1993).

Kim Yongbock, ed. Minjung Theology: People as the Subjects of History (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1984).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Personal and Intellectual Autonomy: The student will develop awareness as it relates to differing opinions on social and religious issues. They will learn to be self reflective in both written and oral responses. (Essay and Presentation).
- Research and Enquiry: The student will use analytical and critical thinking to research and compose assignments, presentations and exam answers. They will be asked to identify and evaluate key information and use clear reasoning in their conclusions. (Essay and Presentation).
- (Verbal) Communication: The student will have opportunities to develop oral communication skills via presentations in class. They will be asked to articulate complex ideas and arguments in a clear and coherent manner. (Presentations)
(Written) Communication: The student will be able to articulate and explain information effectively. They will develop their ability to create coherent arguments out of complex ideas. (Essay)
KeywordsLiberation,Latin America,Feminist,LGBTQ,Black,Asian,Palestinian,Contemporary,Class,Gender,Race,Islam
Course organiserDr Shadaab Rahemtulla
Tel: (0131 6)50 8954
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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