AFR 228
Revolt and Revelation in 20th-Century Americas Fall 2017 Division II; Exploring Diversity Initiative; Cross-listed as AMST228 / AFR228 / LATS228 / REL223
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Writing in 1971, Dominican priest and Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutierrez asked “Is the Church fulfilling a purely religious role when by its silence or friendly relationships it lends legitimacy to dictatorial and oppressive government?” Such a question encapsulates the sometimes agonistic and other times deeply intertwined relationships between religious institutions, religious thought, and movements for political transformation in the 20th century Americas. This course examines those forms of “God-talk” broadly termed “liberation theologies” that responded to and challenged social relationships of class, colonization, race, culture, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, and ecology. These theologies were borne out of and in turn deeply shaped struggles against oppressive regimes and structures in the Americas, and as such we will focus on some specific theological writings–such as those of Gutierrez–and their relationship to distinct social movements and struggles over land, economy, and political power, especially in Brazil, El Salvador, Perú, and the United States of America between 1960-2000. This EDI course examines issues of social and institutional power relations that influence particular religious formations as well as the way religious formations respond to and structure social and institutional power relations.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 12
Class#: 1204
Requirements/Evaluation: participation, short writing exercises, a 5- to 6-page take-home midterm essay, and an 8- to 12-page final review essay
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: majors and concentrators
Distributions: Division II; Exploring Diversity Initiative;
Attributes: LATS Core Electives

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