Universality of Liberation Theology One is Equal to All by wuy61796


									Universality of Liberation
Theology: One is Equal to All
and All are Equal to One
Dr. Saied Reza Ameli

Presented in IHRC’s conference
Towards a New Liberation
Reflections on Palestine
12th June 2005
  Why Liberation Theology?
 Religion can not be neutral even if
  it is secular?!
      Religion exists to save people
       from any deprivation and life
      Religion has to solve individual as
       well as social problems
      It should by dynamic, otherwise it
       will die
 Science can not be neutral even if
  it is secular – science is alive if it
  reduces the pain
Theology and Isolation
 Theology gradually became a topic of debate
  amongst clerics, abstract from ordinary life
  because of two isolations:
     Isolation of theology from public life
     Isolation of people from social products of
 These two isolations turned religion into a
  historical context which turned out to be
  „museum types of ideas‟.
End of All Past Production
 While in the age of globalization, the
  trend for „endness‟ became
  „archetype‟ for presentation of all „new
  ideas‟, it seems society needs to
  return to the human origin to purify all
  impurities have been dominated the
 One such return is a return to the
  involvement of religion in politics.
  Liberation theology was considered as
  a turning point for repoliticization of
  religion and an action for
  desecularization of politics (Levine,
Concept of Liberation Theology
 Liberation
 theology is an
 attempt for
 people of the
 world from
 poverty and
Sociology of Liberation
 On the other hand the sociology of Liberation is also
  a consciousness raising concept among the
  oppressed society.
 It is perhaps more than merely consciousness
  raising, which has moved the sociology of liberation
  to an activist type of work rather than an academic
  discipline of thought.
 That activity is not on behalf of the oppressed, but it
  is achieved by learning to see the world from their
  perspective and joining with them.
 Liberation sociology means joining the Palestinian
  homeless and the Palestinians who have lost their
  children, fathers and mothers, so as to understand
  what homelessness in your own home means.
Liberation Theology and Latin
 In the academic and activist literature Liberation
  Theology introduced as a Christian Leftist Movement
  which emerged in Latin American.
 Since emergence of liberation theology, it has
  become a unique and permanent political movement
  throughout Latin America; from Mexico to Chile, from
  Nicaragua to Brazil, this movement has been
  politically effective in merging together traditional,
  religious values with a commitment to social activism
  on behalf of the “poor and Oppressed” (Pottenger,
Not only in Latin America
 For Jim Tuck[1] (2005) Liberation theology didn't
  begin with the Berrigan brothers or Bishop Ruiz, but it
  goes back to l5th and l6th centuries. A remarkable
  man Las Casas devoted the greater part of his 92
  years on earth to ameliorating the non-Caucasian
  people who lived in the vast Spanish empire.
 In reality liberation theology emerged by divine
  prophet such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus and
  Finally Mohammad.

 The were all fathers to the poor and they came to
  support the oppressed.
Why Liberation Theology Emerged?
 For Harvey Cox (2005) Liberation theology
  was largely a response to the three
  coexistent social, religious and philosophical
  change in Latin America.
 First, worsening social and economic
  conditions for the majority of people in Latin
  America in the 1950s created a desire and
  expectations for change.
Why Liberation Theology Emerged?
 Secondly, the structural causes of poverty were
  addressed in Latin American dependency theory, and
  class-based inequities were identified in Marxist
  critiques of capitalist systems. By the late 1950s a
  revolutionary climate was apparent in the region,
  exemplified by the Cuban Revolution of 1959.
 The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) was the
  third Major reason. Pope John XXIII opened the
  council by expressing the hope that the Catholic
  Church “might become once again…the church of the
Two Important Nostalgias:
 Liberation theology is a response
 towards two important local and global
   The first and the most important one is
    nostalgia for justice.
   The second one is nostalgia of
    metaphysical values.
 How would Liberation Theology work
 Universally and be Effective for
 liberation theology
 requires three
 major elements to
 work as a
 Universal Solution:
   Return to God
   Selflessness
   Centrality of
1. Return to God
 We are all far from God whether we are Muslims,
    Christians or Jews;
   If we are not fair to God, we can not be fair to
    ourselves and we cannot be fair to others.
   To liberate Palestinians, one needs to see them as
    creatures of the same God and one needs to see
    them as members of their own community.
   This requires Liberating other followers of faith and
    force „the International Community‟ to liberate God
    from any attachment to „Chosen Community‟.
   The only Chosen People are the oppressed and the
    poor and everyone are responsible to them.
Return to God and righteous act

 This will effect our practices on the earth
  about ourselves and others: “So whoever
  expects to encounter his Lord, let him act
  righteously, and not associate anyone with
  the worship of his Lord (Surat Al-Kahf,
  Verses, 110).”
Universality of God’s Perception
 God has fragmented to many Gods; Muslims, Jews
  and Christians and other religions divided God
  metaphorically to variety of „God community‟ which
  means my God is different to your God.
 This does indeed effect consciously and
  unconsciously our relationship with creatures of God.
 It effects our sympathy and commitment to the pain
  of people.
 Whether or not they are members of our „Community
  of God‟?
Divinity and Mankind
 According to all divine messages there is no
  differences between people except by their level of
  closeness to God:
 O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and
  female, and made you nations and tribes that you
  may identify with one another. Indeed the noblest of
  you in the sight of Allah is the most God weary
  amongst you. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-aware
  (Surat Al-Hujarat, versus 13)[1].
 [1] ‫یا ایِاالٌاس اًا خلقٌاکن هي ذکس ّ اًثی ّ جعلٌاکن شعْبا ّ قبائل‬
  (13 َ‫لتعازفْا، اى اکسهکن عٌداهلل اتقیکن، اى اهلل علین خبیس )الحجسات، آی‬
2. Selflessness and caring
   Selflessness, minimization of personal desires and
    dogmatic attachments to nationality, ethnicity and
    even religion are major requirements for caring for
    oppressed and poor people.
   This needs avoiding all things which can be
    considered as „selfishness‟.
   „Self‟ here is not only a person, but it can cover all
    „collective centralities‟ such as Eurocentrism,
    Americocentrism and Zionism, which cause
    demolishing and destruction of „others‟ for the price
    of supporting the „self‟.
 Selflessness is a divine and mystical soul of all divine
  religions which brings God‟s spirit to all aspects of
  life. Consequently, such ambition motivates one‟s
  „caring‟ tendencies, and even the sacrificing of life for
  „others‟, rather than dominating, marginalizing,
  torturing and executing „others‟.
 Here is where the Palestinian problem becomes a
  global issue for all human beings who care about
  „others‟, here is the position at which „all become
  equal to one and one becomes equal to all‟; here is
  the position at which one can observe unity within
  diversity and diversity within unity.
3. Centrality of Justice
 Decentralization of ethnicity and
   centralization of Justice for all human beings
   is another major element of the „Universality
   of Liberation Theology‟. Here is the position
   which advocates sociological approach to
   the liberation of the Palestinian people.
The Chosen Society is the Oppressed
 Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: Shall I let
    you know about the kings of the Heaven?
    Every powerless deprived[1].
    [1] ‫قال زسْل اهلل صلی اهلل علیَ ّ الَ: اال اخبسکن عي هلْک‬
    .(5943 ،‫اُل الجٌَ؟ کل ضعیف هستضعف )کٌزالعوال‬
Future of the World
 In Islam the future is in the hands of those
    whom kept the powerless deprived. It is
    articulated that: And We desired to show
    favour to those who were deprived in the
    land, and to make them Imams, and to make
    them the inheritors[1].
    [1] ‫ّ ًسید اى ًوي علی الریي استضعفْا فی االزض ّ ًجعلِن‬
    .(5 ،‫ائوَ ّ ًجعلِن الْازثیي )سْزٍ القصص‬
Injustice and Corruption of the World
 Imam Ali said: Injustice is the mother of all sins[1].
 Imam Ali said: Injustice is destructive force[2]
 Imam Ali said: Oppressing the poor is worst
  [1] (804 ،‫قال علی علیَ السالم: الظلن االم السذائل )غسزالحکن‬
 [2] (6 ،‫قال علی علیَ السالم: الجْز هوحاٍ )غسزالحکن‬
 [3] ‫قال علی علیَ السالم: ظلن الضعیف افحش الظلن )ًِج البالغَ، الکتاب‬
UN Statistic
                                         Palestinian
                                          (about 5
18%                                       approximately
                                          18% of the
                                          total number
                                          of refugees in
                                          the world.

      Palestinian   Rest of the World
           Number of Palestinian Refuges

2000                                                                3737494

1990                                             2466516

1980                                   1863162

1970                             1445022

1960                       1136487

1953                    870158

       0   500000 1000000 1500000 2000000 2500000 3000000 3500000 4000000 4500000
Food Insecurity in Palestine
 Food security in the occupied Palestinian
  territory. Levels of food insecurity in the occupied
  Palestinian territory (OPT) are high.
 Over a million Palestinians are food-insecure, and
  another 975,000 are at risk of becoming so.
 This food insecurity is caused primarily by Israel‟s
  closure policy and movement restrictions, which have
  resulted in massive increases in unemployment and
  underemployment (up to 30% in the West Bank and
  40% in the Gaza Strip). (Source: Humanitarian
  Practice Network)
          Worldwide Military Expenditure

          Rest of
         the World                        US
           32%                           45%

 4% Japan
          France Germany        Russia
      4%                   UK
            5%     3%            2%
  Conclusion Word
 According to
  Universal Liberation
  Theology, the issue
  of Palestine can not
  come to any
  positive conclusion
  unless world society
  can globally move
  to change „the
  oppressive trend of
  the world‟.
Caring about Others
                  This trend will not come
                   to any end unless world
                   society can end
                   selfishness by returning
                   to the God and have
                   great ambition to stand
                   for justice not only
                   because of justice but
                   because this is the
                   order of God
                  God determinate
                   Justice in Returning to
                   God and only God.
Alarm and Hope
 Don‟t forget that “injustice is
  turning around, today it might
  be far from Us, but tomorrow
  it will be on Our doorstep”,
 Today Palestine, Tomorrow
  your home.
 I am optimistic to the world,
  because I can see the
  dissident culture is
  expanding. Dissident to all
  „injustice‟; to all „immoral‟
  behavior. Let‟s wish for a
  day which there is no
  oppression, there is no
  poverty, and there is nothing
  but peace, trust and

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