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Leonardo Boff Jesus Christ Liberator
Transcript of Leonardo Boff Jesus Christ Liberator
Jesus Christ Liberator Boff's Life after Writing jesus Christ Liberator "It is my hope that the reading of this book will help more privileged Christians join in fellowship with those who are oppressed, to commit themselves to the messianic task of liberating human beings completely from everything that diminishes them and offends God." Boff, 1972, pg. xii -Born in Concórdia, Santa Catarina, Brazil, on December 14, 1938
-He joined the Franciscan Order in 1959
-Received a doctorate from University of Munich in Germany in 1970
-After earning his doctorate was a Professor of Theology at the Jesuit Institute for Philosophy and Theology in Petropolis, Brazil
-In 1972 Boff's book Jesus Christ Liberator was published by Orbis Press Boff's Biography Before and During
the Publication of the Book •An Epilogue was added to “Jesus Christ Liberator”, after Brazil was resorted to a democracy (which is what we read for homework last week!)
•In 1984, he was submitted to a process by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith due to his theses linked to liberation theology exposed in his book Church: Charism and Power. In 1985 he was condemned to "obsequious silence' and was removed from publishing and editing and suspended from religious duties.
Due to international pressure on the Vatican, the decision was repealed in 1986, allowing him to return to some of his previous activities.
•In 1992, he was threatened by a second punitive action by authorities in Rome, so Boff left the priesthood and "promoted himself the state of laity" Boff said, "I changed trenches to continue the same fight."
•Boff is the author of 60 books on liberation theology, eco-spirituality, philosophy, anthropology, and mysticism.
•He was honored with the alternative Nobel Prize, "Right Livelihood Award" in 2001.
•Lives with his wife Marcia Maria Monteiro de Miranda in Jardim Araras, a wilderness area in municipality of Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro. He has six stepchildren and three grandchildren. Brazil was colonized by Portugal 16-19th centuries
In 1822 Brazil was free from Portuguese rule and ruled by a monarchy until 1889
Military Dictatorship ruled from 1889-1945
Fragile Democracy from 1946-1963
Brazil was in and out of military rule from 1964-1985 (during that time the Church was censored by the military government)
Democracy was restored in 1985 until present day Political Landscape of Brazil Before and Around the Time of JCL reconstruction of history interpretation of history Hermeneutic Problem
Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation Hermeneutics While history is being reconstructed the historian must interpret it.
Boff argues that it is impossible to have an unbiased history of Jesus because in order for a historian to interpret history he or she must find meaning in the message. Therefore each theologian or historian will reflect their own understanding of Jesus so there will always be interpretation; there will never be one biography of Jesus. Example the Gospel of Matthew
Matthew reconstructs the history of Jesus
Matthew interprets the history and finds meaning in Jesus as a teacher Historical Criticisms in Hermeneutics
When we study the New Testament we use critism to sift for original meaning of the text
1. Sound out the message of another age
2. Distance ourselves from the present
3. Question ourselves and our beliefs
When we question we create space for metanoia.
Three Types of Critism Used to Interpret the Gospels
Form- Isolating stories of Jesus in the Gospels to identify what his early followers were trying to say about him
Tradition- deeper look at form criticism and assess traditions and dogmatic development of the Church
Redaction- Gospel writers edit the stories of Jesus to interpret their experience and interpretation of Jesus. Existential Hermeneutics
Scientific knowledge is unbiased and neutral
To know Jesus is to be in a relationship with him, therefore interpretation is involved.
“Hermeneutics means comprehending all manifestation of life and knowing how to relate them to the evangelical message...not only the individual but also the collective universality of people” (Boff, 1972, pg. 41) Salvation History Hermeneutics
Salvation history is the history of God’s communication with humanity and humanity’s response.
Until there is perfect realization of God and humanity in the world there will always be revelation.
therefore we will always interpret humanities response to that salvation history Boff’s Theology of the History of Jesus and Hermeneutics (Chapters 1 and 2)
Who was Jesus to his earliest followers?
Who is Jesus Christ for us today?
How should we interpret Christ in the Latin American Church?
Answers to Criticisms
Critical reason has been important to all types of study since the 18th century. History and religion have been affected by reason.
According to Boff, the New Testament is a theological interpretation of the events of Jesus’ life rather than a historical interpretation. Jesus of History and Christ of Faith
Jesus of History- Jesus a person who lived and died
Christ of Faith- Son of God; Savior The Theologian Robert Bultmann argues that we do not need to focus on the Jesus of History only the Christ of faith.
Jesus as a person is not as important as the Resurrected Christ.
Question: Should we look for the Historical Jesus to help us find our faith? Answer: Yes! Boff calls for the return of the historical Jesus. If we didn’t have the Jesus of History where does Christian faith emerge from? Latin American Christology
How do these Hermeneutic circles and criticisms used to interpret the Gospels effect Latin America? Answer:
Jesus is our starting point and we need to look at him through the context from which we know. Therefore Latin America will interpret Jesus differently than Europe. Latin American Characteristics
We need focus on the people the Church serves in Latin American rather than the people serving the institutional Church.
- Utopian Element Over Factual
We must look to the future of the Church rather than look back (colonization was the past) Latin America need something new that will serve its people better.
-Critical Element Over Dogmatic
The ecclesial institutions of the past are obsolete (A European church does not work in Latin America) therefore we must use criticisms and hermeneutics to start dialogue between faith and the world and the church and society.
-Social over Personal
A large portion of Latin American society is greatly afflicted by marginalization and oppression therefore the Church needs to put its poor first.
-Orthopraxis over Orthodoxy
The Church needs to more actively support those who fight for the poor.
Boff calls for a stronger orthopraxis (action) rather than emphasis on orthodoxy (thinking) Hermeneutic Circle