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Cover of A Revolutionary Faith by Raúl E. Zegarra
A Revolutionary Faith
Liberation Theology Between Public Religion and Public Reason
Raúl E. Zegarra


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March 2023
248 pages.
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Hardcover ISBN: 9781503635371
Paperback ISBN: 9781503635586
Ebook ISBN: 9781503635593

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Religious commitments can be a powerful engine for progressive social change, and in this new book, Raúl E. Zegarra examines the process of articulation of religious beliefs and political concerns that takes place in religious organizing and activism. Focusing on the example of Latin American liberation theology and the work of Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez, Zegarra shows how liberation theology advocates have been able to produce a new balance between faith and politics that advances an agenda of progressive social change without reducing politics to faith or faith to politics.

Drawing from theologian David Tracy's method of critical correlation, the book focuses on key historical, philosophical, and theological shifts that have allowed liberation theologians to produce a new interpretation of the relationship between faith and politics in the Christian tradition, especially when issues of social justice are at stake. The book further approaches liberation theology's contributions to theorizing social justice through an unconventional path: a critical dialogue with the work of philosopher John Rawls. This dialogue, as Zegarra contends, allows us to see more clearly the contributions of liberation theology to the cause of progressive social change. Ultimately the book stands between "public religion" and "public reason," offering something of a blueprint for theological innovation and for how to remain committed to one's faith while respecting and defending the core values of democracy.

About the author

Raúl E. Zegarra is Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago and a faculty member at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

"This is the best book on public theology I have read in a long time. A compelling read on every page, A Revolutionary Faith offers a highly original reflection on liberation theology and its relevance for our secular age."

—José Casanova, Georgetown University

"How do religious people articulate their theological commitments to social justice? A Revolutionary Faith offers a lucid and insightful account. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the convergence of faith and politics."

—Mayra Rivera, Harvard University