Liberation theology originated in Latin America in the 1960s as a critical, theological response to overwhelming conditions of poverty and oppression. Grounded in a century of focused development in Roman Catholic social teaching, beginning with the 1891 papal encyclical Rerum Novarum and culminating with the Second Vatican Council's 1965 Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, numerous Latin American theologians began to articulate a distinct theological method identified as critical reflection on praxis in light of the Word (as expressed in scripture and ecclesial tradition). This method highlights the primacy of experience as a source for theological reflection, noting that experience precedes theological formulation, and advances a preferential option for the lived experience of the poor. Liberation theology has both been informed by ...

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