HISTORY: Enrique Dussel, Exodus as a Paradigm in Liberation Theology


3. The First Semantic Shift: From the ‘Individual’ to the ‘Poor’ Church

In what was still the prehistory of liberation theology, in the 1950s, many people went through the spiritual experience of a radical demand for poverty. Examples are Charles de Foucauld, A Franciscan renewal in various areas of the Church, the presence of French worker priests in the refugee camps during the second world war. I myself was with Paul Gauthier in Nazareth between 1959 and 1961. At the beginning of the Second Vatican Council Mgr Hakim, the bishop of Nazareth, Mgr Hammer of Tournai and others, including Helder Camara, launched through the Nazareth team the idea of the ‘Church of the poor’, which Pope John XXIII took up personally. It was a personal, individual requirement of poverty, accepted by people from the pope and cardinals down to bishops, priests, religious and lay activists. The archbishop of Medellin left…

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