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Critical Theory and Liberation Theology

A Comparison of the Initial Work of Jürgen Habermas and Gustavo Gutiérrez

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Margaret M. Campbell

Critical Theory and Liberation Theology discusses two major features of the crisis of western modernity: the first of these arises from the assumption that any value-based societal critique rests upon an arbitrary or purely «emotive» choice of first principles. The second is that the Christian churches have not developed an understanding of the relationship between faith and modernity that enables them to be a consistent or liberating voice in public affairs.
In response to this crisis, Margaret Campbell traces Jürgen Habermas's search for a means by which questions regarding human authenticity and emancipation can be brought into the arena of rational political discourse. Dr. Campbell also presents an account of Gustavo Gutiérrez's liberation theology and describes it as a new kind of critical discourse about Christian faith, one that begins by examining the political praxis of Christians. Dr. Campbell concludes that together Habermas and Gutiérrez have provided us with foundations for a theology of communicative and liberating praxis.