Faith in the balance: Foundations of liberation theology in Latin American and European thought

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Joaquin Roy - Committee Chair


This dissertation weighs its subject in the balance using the vehicle called philosophy. The work traces a powerful religious, social, historical, and philosophical movement called liberation theology as an illustration of the applications of the versatile framework known as intellectual history. The contribution of this dissertation to knowledge derives from its unique application and expansion of this interdisciplinary framework, also known as the history or evolution of ideas, for investigating and exploring social, economic, political, philosophical, inter-cultural, aesthetic, and religious questions at their roots.Sun Tzu said the best defense is a good offense. The most rational way to avert crises or adverse effects in international relations is through careful investigation of causes. Only then may an appropriate strategy evolve. The application of this framework to the role of liberation theology as a cultural and spiritual humanistic philosophy through its foundations in European and Latin American thought does just this. History may not repeat itself but it often comes close. How can one know where he is going if (s)he does not know where (s)he has been or remember where (s)he came from?The same holds true for the history of ideas; the key to which is range. Range of knowledge in the humanities makes the sciences more understandable and vice versa, providing a common denominator with which to resolve problems or simply explore their roots.


History, European; History, Latin American; Philosophy

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