Timeline Project

This timeline is an impossible task, not one to finish or fill out. Rather it’s a way for me to organise the information that I’m interested in. The history of the moments, movements, places and people that have shaped a theology for liberation around the world… well they do not belong on one plain of temporality. Take any year — say, 1961 — and you’ll find a vastly different eras connected to location. Take a concept like “modernity” and you’ll soon have to pluralise it: “modernities”. Perhaps such concepts can only describe the places and eras out of which they were born. So, like everything on this site, a timeline is a problematic way to organise data.

What are the benefits? Take the early 70s. Between 1970 and ’74 we can see the emergence of Liberation Theology from its antecedents, with the publications of explicitly “Liberation Theology” titles: 1970, James Cone’s Black Theology of Liberation; 1971, Gustavo Gutierrez’s Teologia de la liberacion; 1972, Rosemary Radford-Ruether’s Liberation Theology; 1973, Gutierrez’s translated to English, etc. to which we may add (and thus problematise) Mary Daly’s The Church and the Second Sex (’68), Rubem Alves’ Theology of Human Hope (trans. ’69) or the echoes of such themes in Paulo Freire’s work, such as Educaçáo como Práctica da Liberdade (written during ’65, published in Rio by ’68, and translated to English in ’74). Convergences like this reveal something of the Spirit of God and the transmission and coagulation of culture. We don’t share a single horizon, but we do enjoin our histories when the horizons are transgressed.

Hopefully this section will help you as well. Like all of this site, it is in its infancy.

How will we proceed? The world is too vast to put on a timeline! What to include? A military coup in 1964 Brazil will be decisive for Alves or Freire, perhaps even for the Peruvian Gutierrez, but of little consequence for the shaping of Cone, Daly or Ruether. We must somehow limit our scope.

We will stick, then, to including: Major Publications / New Concepts / Seminal Events.

History isn’t a list. We must keep its narrative features. On this blog I attempt to give colour to these events and tangents. You may see a different story at work. For this job, a timeline serves its small purpose. We do not, after all, live outside of time! This section is to complement and link to the posts that will fill out the details missing here.


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