20th Century Theology #9:

  Gustavo Gutierrez

  & Liberation Theology

 - New Testament
 - Early Christianity
 - Medieval Christianity
 - The Reformation
 - Spirituality & Mysticism
 - Sacraments
 - 20th-Century Theology




#1: Intros & History
#2: Catholic Theology
#3: Protestant Theology
#4: Liturgical Theology
#5: Biblical Studies
#6: Ecclesiology
#7: Social Thought
#8: Moral Theology
#9: Liberation Theology
#10: Papacy Since Vatican II

























































































































 compiled by William Harmless, S.J.

Creighton University 


    1. Gustavo Gutierrez: Theological Writings

    2. Jon Sobrino: Theological Writings

    3. Latin American Liberation Theology: Surveys & Studies

    4. Black Liberation Theology: Texts & Studies

    5. Feminist Theologies: Texts & Studies





Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation (Teología de la liberación: perspectivas, 1971) trans. Sister Caridad Inda and John Eaglson, rev. ed. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988).  Gutiérrez is one of the most significant theologians of the 20th century, and this work is his masterpiece.  It helped spark the movement we now call “liberation theology.”  Gutiérrez had been working on this for some years, in conjunction with his work with both the poor and with the bishops of Latin America, sounding out how Vatican II applied to the Latin American context.  Gutiérrez, while not unduly difficult, favors an abstract style, full of subtle nuance and genuine eloquence.


Gustavo Gutiérrez, The God of Life (El Dios de la vida, 1989).  Trans. Matthew J. O’Connell.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991.

Gustavo Gutiérrez, Las Casas: In Search of the Poor of Jesus Christ (En busca de los pobres de Jesucristo, 1992), trans. Robert R. Barr (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993).

Gustavo Gutiérrez, On Job: God-Talk and the Suffering of the Innocent (Hablar de Dios desde el sufrimiento del inocente: una reflexíon sobre el libro de Job, 1986), trans. Matthew J. O’Connell (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1987).

Gustavo Gutiérrez, The Power of the Poor in History (La fuerza histórica de los pobres: selección de trabajos, 1979), trans. Robert R. Barr (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1983).

Gustavo Gutiérrez, Sharing the Word Through the Liturgical Year (Compartir la palabra a lo largo del año litúrgico, 1995) trans. Colette Joly Dees (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1997).

Gustavo Gutiérrez, The Truth Shall Make You Free: Confrontations (La verdad los hará libres: confrontaciones, 1986) trans. Matthew J. O’Connell (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990)

Gustavo Gutiérrez, We Drink from Our Own Wells: The Spiritual Journey of a People (Beber en su propio pozo: en el itinerario espiritual de un pueblo, 1983) trans. Matthew J. O’Connell (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1984).

Daniel G. Groody and Gustavo Gutierrez, eds., The Preferential Option for the Poor Beyond Theology (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2013) paperback, $30. NEW.


Anthologies & Studies:

Robert McAfee Brown, Gustavo Gutierréz: An Introduction to Liberation Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990).

Marc H. Ellis, Expanding the View: Gustavo Gutiérrez and the Future of Liberation Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990).

Marc H. Ellis & Otto Maduro, eds.  The Future of Liberation Theology: Essays in Honor of Gustavo Gutiérrez (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989).

James. B. Nickeloff, ed., Gustavo Gutiérrez: Essential Writings, The Making of Modern Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996).






Jon Sobrino, Jesus the Liberator: a Historical-Theological Reading of Jesus of Nazareth (Jesucristo liberador.  Lectura historica-teológica de Jesús de Nazaret, 1991) trans. Paul Bruns & Francis McDonagh (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993) paperback; Christ the Liberator: A View from the Victims (La fe en Jesucristo: Ensayo desde las víctimas, 1999), trans. Paul Burns (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001).  For the last two decades, Sobrino has been the leading liberation theologian writing on christology.  This pair of works are perhaps the most important of his career, and is powerfully shaped by his long years of experience in El Salvador. 


Jon Sobrino, Archbishop Romero: Memories and Reflections (1980-1989), trans. Robert R. Barr (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990).

Jon Sobrino, Christology at the Crossroads: A Latin American Approach (Cristología desde america latina: esbozo a partir del seguimiento del Jesús historico, 1976), trans. John Drury (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1978).

Jon Sobrino, Companions of Jesus: The Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990).

Jon Sobrino, Jesus in Latin America (Jesús en America Latina, 1987), trans. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1987).

Jon Sobrino & Ignacio Ellacuría, ed., Mysterium Liberationis: Fundamental Concepts of Liberation Theology (Mysterium Liberationis: Conceptos Fundamentales de la Teologia de la Liberacion, 1990) trans. Robert R. Barr (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1994).

Jon Sobrino, The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross (El Principio-Misericordia: Bajar de la cruz a los pueblos crucificados, 1992) (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1994).

Jon Sobrino, “The Significance of Puebla for the Catholic Church in Latin America,” in J. Eagleson and Philip Scharper, Puebla and Beyond (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1979)

Jon Sobrino, Spirituality of Liberation: Toward Political Holiness (Liberación con espiritu, 1985), trans. Robert R. Barr (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988).

Jon Sobrino & Ignacio Ellacuría, ed., Systematic Theology: Perspectives from Liberation Theology, trans. Robert R. Barr (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993).

Jon Sobrino, The True Church and the Poor (Resurrección de la verdadera Iglesia: Los pobres, lugar teologico de la eclesiologia, 1981) trans. Matthew J. O’Connell (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1984).

Jon Sobrino, Where Is God? Earthquake, Terrorism, Barbarity, and Hope, trans. Margaret Wilde (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004).


Stephen J. Pope, ed., Hope and Solidarity: Jon Sobrino’s Challenge to Christian Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008).

O. Ernesto Valiente, “From Conflict to Reconciliation: Discipleship in the Theology of Jon Sobrino,” Theological Studies 74.3 (2013): 655-682.




Christopher Rowland, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999).  Valuable essays that survey the basics of liberation theology and provide valuable perspectives and assessments.


Thomas M. Kelly, When the Gospel Grows Feet: Rutilio Grande, S.J., and the Church (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2013), paperback, $30. NEW. Rutilio Grande was a Jesuit who worked for the poor in El Salvador and was assassinated in 1977.  His death sparked Oscar Romero, the bishop of San Salvador, to begin a campaign speaking publicly on behalf of the poor and against the violence of the authoritarian regime in 1980s El Salvador. Romero was, in turn, assassinated in March 1980.  This offers the first-ever book-length study of the life of Grande in English.


Manfred K. Bahmann, A Preference for the Poor: Latin American Liberation Theology from a Protestant Perspective (Lanham, MD: University of America Press, 2005).

David. B. Batstone, ed., Liberation Theologies, Post-Modernity, and the Americas (New York: Routledge, 1997).

Leonardo Boff, Global Civilization: Challenges to Society and to Christianity, Cross Cultural Theologies (Equinox Publishing, 2005).

Leonardo Boff & Clodovis Boff, Introducing Liberation Theology, trans. Paul Burns (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1987).

Leonardo Boff & Virgil Elizondo, eds., 1492-1992: The Voice of the Victims (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990).

Edward L. Cleary, How Latin America Saved the Soul of the Catholic Church (New York: Paulist Press, 2010).

Robert McAfee Brown, Liberation Theology: An Introductory Guide (Westminster John Knox, 1993).

Kevin Burke & Robert Lassalle-Klein, eds., Love That Produces Hope: The Thought of Ignacio Ellacuría  (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006)

Eduardo Fernández, La Cosecha: Harvesting Contemporary United States Hispanic Theology (1972-1998) (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2000). 

Roberto S. Goizueta, Christ Our Companion: Toward a Theological Aesthetics of Liberation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2009).

John Hassett & Hugh Lacey, ed., Toward a Society That Serves Its People: The Intellectual Contribution of El Salvador’s Murdered Jesuits (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1991).

Alfred T. Hennelly, ed.  Liberation Theology: A Documentary History (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990).

Gerd-Rainer Horn, Western European Liberation Theology: The First Wave (1924-1959) (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Michael Jon Kessler, ed., Political Theology for a Plural Age (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) paperback, $30. NEW.

Robert Lassalle-Klein, Blood and Ink: Ignacio Ellacuría, Jon Sobrino and the Jesuit Martyrs of the University of Central America (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2014) paperback $34. NEW.

Michael Lee, Bearing the Weight of Salvation: The Soteriology of Ignacio Ellacuria (New York: Crossroad, 2008).

Michael E. Lee, ed., Ignacio Ellacuría: Essays on History, Liberation, and Salvation(Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2013) paperback, $40. NEW.

John Lynch, New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).

Arthur F. McGovern, Liberation Theology and Its Critics: Toward an Assessment (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989).

Robin Nagel, Claiming the Virgin: The Broken Promise of Liberation Theology (New York: Routledge, 1997).

Ivan Petrella, ed. Latin American Liberation Theology: The Next Generation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2005).

Elizabeth Philips, Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed, series: Guides for the Perplexed (New York: T&T Clark, 2012).

Tom Powers, The Call of God: Women Doing Theology in Peru (New York: SUNY, 2003).

Paul E. Ritt, “The Lordship of Jesus Christ: Balthasar and Sobrino,” Theological Studies 49 (1988) 709-29.

Oscar Romero, The Violence of Love, ed. James R. Brockman, 2nd ed. (Plough Publishing, 1998).

Christopher Rowland, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology, 2nd ed., Cambridge Companions to Religion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Juan Luis Segundo, Jesus of Nazareth, Yesterday & Today, 5 vol (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1994)

Sergio Torres & John Eagleson, eds.  The Challenge of Basic Christian Communities (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1981).

Leif Vaage, ed., Subversive Scriptures: Revolutionary Christian Readings of the Bible in Latin America (Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1997).





Dwight N. Hopkins and Edward P. Antonio, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).  At last, a valuable introduction and overview of black theology.  The place to start.


James H. Cone, Black Liberation Theology, rev. ed. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1990).

James H. Cone, God of the Oppressed, rev. ed. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1997).

James H. Cone, The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1992).

James H. Cone and Gayraud S. Wilmore, eds., Black Theology: A Documentary History, Vol. 1: 1966-1979 and Vol. 2: 1980-1992 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1993).

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

Ogbu U. Kalu, ed., African Christianity: An African Story (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2007) paperback, $35.

Jamie T. Phelps, ed., Black and Catholic: The Challenge and Gift of Black Folk: Contributions of African American Experience and Thought to Catholic Theology (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1997).

J. Deotis Roberts, Liberation and Reconciliation: A Black Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Book, 2004).

Harry H. Singleton, III, Black Theology and Ideology: Deideological Dimensions in the Theology of  James H. Cone (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002).

Vincent L. Wimbush, The Bible and African Americans: A Brief History (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003).





Susan Frank Parsons, The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology (Cambridge / New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002).  Feminist theology has touched virtually every area of theology, from biblical studies to historical theology to ethics and ecclesiology.  As with Latin American liberation theology, it is better to speak of liberation theologies.  A fine collection of essays that surveys key topics & themes of feminist theology, including trinity, creation, biblical hermeneutics, philosophy of religion, church and sacrament, and eschatology.


Sheila Brigg and Mary McClintock Fulkerson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theology (New York: Oxford University, 2012).  The volume is divided between "Changing Contexts" (especially the globalisation of feminist theology) and "Changing Contents".


Maria Pilar Aquino, Daisy L. Machado, Jeanette Rodriguez, eds., A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2002).

Susan Abraham and Elena Procario-Foley, eds., Frontiers in Catholic Feminist Theology: Shoulder to Shoulder (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009).

Rebecca S. Chopp & Sheila Greeve Davaney, eds, Horizons in Feminist Theology: Identity, Tradition, and Norms (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997).

Anne M. Clifford, Introducing Feminist Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001).

Charles E. Curran, Margaret A. Farley & Richard A. McCormick, eds., Feminist Ethics and the Catholic Moral Tradition (New York: Paulist Press, 1996).

Mary J. Henold, Catholic and Feminist: The Surprising History of the American Catholic Feminist Movement (North Carolina, 2008).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, The Power of Naming: A Concilium Reader in Feminist Liberation Theology, Concilium Series (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1996).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Jesus and the Politics of Interpretation (New York: Continuum, 2000).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Discipleship of Equals: A Critical Feminist Ekklesia-logy of Liberation (New York: Crossroad, 1993).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Bread Not Stone: The Challenge of Feminist Biblical Interpretation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1984).

Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza & M. Shawn Copeland, eds., Feminist Theology in Different Contexts (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996).

Elizabeth A. Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse (New York: Crossroad, 1992).

Ursula King, ed., Feminist Theology from the Third World: A Reader (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1994).

Letty M. Russell & J. Shannon Clarkson, eds, Dictionary of Feminist Theologies (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1996).



Revised: July 15, 2014

 Page Content developed by

  William Harmless, SJ