Cover image for Theology in a new key : responding to liberation themes
Theology in a new key : responding to liberation themes
Brown, Robert McAfee, 1920-2001.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Westminster Press, [1978]

Physical Description:
212 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1430 Lexile.
Format :


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BR115.J8 B76 Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

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"I do not think there are any issues on the theological and human scene more important than the ones liberation theologians are raising," says Robert McAfee Brown. In this book Brown explores how we can respond to liberation theology without condescension, arrogance, or co-optation. He surveys in detail the kind of challenges to North American Christians issued by South American theologians. He then calls upon the church to work to make itself what it ought to be and to take sides politically in support of human rights.

Author Notes

Robert McAfee Brown is Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 11
Chapter 1 Established Harmonies: A Diminished Seventh in Need of Resolution (The Possibility of a New Direction)p. 19
Established Harmoniesp. 20
The Diminished Seventhp. 22
Resolving the Diminished Seventhp. 23
Continuity or Discontinuity?p. 26
Entertaining the Notion of a New Key: A Roman Catholic Journeyp. 27
Anticipations of a New Key: A Protestant/Orthodox Journeyp. 35
The Possibility of Attentiveness to Theology in a New Keyp. 48
Chapter 2 A Challenge to the Established Harmonies: "The View from Below" (Liberation as a New/Old Note)p. 50
A Geographical Historical Excursion: From Medellin 1968 to Santiago 1972p. 52
Characteristics of "The View from Below"p. 60
1. A Different Starting Point: The Poorp. 60
2. A Different Interlocutor: The Nonpersonp. 62
3. A Different Set of Tools: The Social Sciencesp. 64
4. A Different Analysis: The Reality of Conflictp. 67
5. A Different Mode of Engagement: Praxisp. 70
6. A Different Theology: The "Second Act"p. 72
A Note Still to Be Soundedp. 74
Chapter 3 The Melodic Stridency of Scripture: Marx, Luke, and John (From a Hermeneutic of Suspicion to a Hermeneutic of Engagement)p. 75
The Beneficial Effects of Stridencyp. 76
Recognizing Our "Ideological Captivity"p. 77
"Hermeneutical Suspicion"p. 80
"Hermeneutical Circulation"p. 85
A Hermeneutic of Hopep. 88
1. The God Who Takes Sidesp. 88
2. "To Know God Is to Do Justice"p. 90
3. The True Worshipp. 92
4. Liberty to the Oppressedp. 94
5. The Judgment of the Nationsp. 95
A Hermeneutic of Engagementp. 97
Chapter 4 Chords of Discord: A Twelve-Tone Scale of Sorts (A Critique of Critiques: Pros and Cons, Sharps and Flats)p. 101
An Eightfold Sequence of Critiquesp. 102
1. Defensive Critiquesp. 103
2. Total Rejection Critiquesp. 104
3. Oversimplified Critiquesp. 106
4. Pseudo-Issue Critiquesp. 110
5. Reductionist Critiquesp. 114
6. Methodological Critiquesp. 118
7. Co-optation Critiquesp. 123
8. Dialogical Critiquesp. 127
From Critiques to Creative Appropriationp. 131
Chapter 5 "How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land?": Discovering the Word of God for Us (What Can We Learn from Elsewhere for Our Situation?)p. 132
Rehearing "the Lord's Song"--A Threat and a Challengep. 133
Resinging Our Own Song--A More Ample Orchestrationp. 135
Rewriting Our Christian Song--Attention to Neglected Themesp. 138
Redirecting Our North American Song--A New Kind of National Anthemp. 143
Reorganizing Our Chorus--A Search for New Alliancesp. 146
Chapter 6 Two Cheers for the Church: A Not-Quite Hallelujah Chorus (Is There Still a Role for the Church?)p. 155
Scenarios for the Futurep. 156
Images for the Futurep. 158
1. The Remnant Within the Remnantp. 158
2. The Abrahamic Minorityp. 160
3. The Freedom of the Anti-Chameleonp. 161
Beyond Sloganeering: Can We Enter Into "Solidarity with the Oppressed"?p. 162
1. Denunciation and Annunciationp. 163
2. Acts of Solidarity Within the Communityp. 165
3. Hearing the Voice of the Voicelessp. 172
4. Taking Sides ... Politicallyp. 175
5. A Theology of "Letting Go"p. 179
Two Cheers for the Churchp. 182
First Cheer: Liturgy Can Be Enablingp. 182
Second Cheer: The Global Family Already Existsp. 186
The Last Word: The Primacy of Actp. 187
Notesp. 189
Annotated Bibliographyp. 199
Index of Namesp. 209
Index of Scripture Passagesp. 212