Liberation Theology and Catholic Social Teaching



This article argues for a broad compatibility between the Theology of Liberation and Catholic Social Thought. It can be argued that both of these discourses have been eclipsed in the post-conciliar period by the attention given to sexual ethics rather than the ‘social question’. Two possibilities are put forward as to how these discourses may re-connect with contemporary political and economic debates. Firstly, the notions of the ‘State of Exception’ and the homo sacer (advanced by Giorgio Agamben) have opened up new space for theological reflection centred upon the victim. Secondly, the search for a post-Rawlsian account of global justice, such as we find in the work of Amartya Sen, offers a possible version of a political ‘project’, to which both Liberation Theology and Catholic Social Thought can contribute.