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Faith and Commitment:

theological questions about political commitment of believers from the


underside of history
(By Moiss Israel Medrano Garay)

INTRODUCTION
Reflecting on the relation between faith and (political) commitment is asking a
very complex question.1 On the one hand, faith is in itself a very complex issue: it
has to do with the experience of the divine or absolute in individuals and collectives
experiences which seems to be, to a great extent, never the same in time neither for
the individual nor the groups ; it has also to do with the human life and existence
as a whole:2 the question of the intertwining of faith (faiths?) with all the other
aspects of human life (politics, economics, gender, society and culture) aspects
that are understood in such a different ways for different persons that they are, so
often, contradictory either to one another or within each of them. On the other hand,
reflecting on that relationship is also a complex issue because is not so easy, as
appears to be, to answer to questions such as: What does it mean to be
committed? Why are we committed (in this or on that issue or situation)? Where
does this commitment come from? Why my commitment is such and not a different
one? What are the benefits of such a commitment (in the short and the long term)?
Whose benefits? What is the sense of the benefit? These are not simple or easy
questions to deal with. Yet, the invitation to commit oneself/ourselves in different
political matters in the name of faith are everywhere 3.
A theological reflection turn up to be pertinent on this issue. However, here
also arises complexity in a very similar way: on the one hand, it can be asked about
the understanding of theology when discerning on faith; 4 and, on the other hand,
about the relation between theology and politics. Regarding to the first issue, some
1 In the English language, complex means complicated: consisting of
many different parts and often difficult to understand. Della Summers
(dir.). Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. (Edinburgh: Pearson
Education Limited, 2003).

2 It is not the purpose here to develop a new theory of what faith is, or to
deal with all the problematics issues related to it. See on this, Juan L.
Segundo, El hombre de hoy ante Jesus de Nazaret. 2 vol. (Madrid:
Cristiandad, 1982), 19fs.

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could think that there is only one way of doing and understanding theology, and deny
or underestimate those different to his or hers own; some others could affirm that
there are different forms of doing and understanding theology Christian and non-
Christian (Muslim, Buddhist, Aymara, Maya theology, etc.) with the same dignity
5
between them. In any case, this is an unsettled problem. Related to it is the
concern about the meaning of a Christian theology in front of the presence of
different Christian confessions: When we talk about a Christian theology, what do
we mean by that? It would be too pretentious to aprioristically pretend or assume the
primacy of one form of Christian theology over another; even worst, it would be too
nave or too manipulative to ask people to forget or not be concerned about it. We
should keep in mind that every form of Christian faith and theology has their own
context, presuppositions and truth claims. 6 This cannot be denied or forgotten in the
name of some sort of Christian unity However, that does not mean that the
pursued of Christian unity should not be done, the question is how.7

3 See as examples of it, the final statement by the International Twin


Consultation An invitation to reformation, transformation and education.
The consultation was held in Halle/ Saale, Germany on May 26th, 2016;
see also the call of the World Council of Churches concerning the
responsibility to protect in
http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/central-
committee/2003/the-responsibility-to-protect-ethical-and-theological-
reflections. Important to say is that, the commitment on political matters
is very important to make, nevertheless it must be discerned in each case.

4 For Victor Martnez, Consideraciones en torno a los mtodos, a los sujetos y a los
lenguajes en teologa, Teologa Xaveriana 153 (2005), 18, the fundamental concern
of theology can properly be understood by addressing the following questions: What
is its object? How do we do it (methodology)? What are the underlying assumptions
of such undertaking? What is its purpose? Regarding to the latter, the author thinks
that theology always legitimize something (someone), and for that reason is related
to the issue of power.

5 Ibid., 15 18.

6 Wolfhart Pannenberg has dealt with this problem in his epistemology. For him,
theology is a science specified by its object: the all-encompassing reality indirectly
present in history; an object which always has a historical character. See on this,
Wolfhart Pannenberg. Teora de la Ciencia y Teologa. (Madrid: Libros Europa,
1981), 263 365.

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Regarding to the relationship between theology and politics, the concern is
that of the proper relationship between two apparently different aspects of reality.
First, the self-pretended normative character of theology is problematic in the so
called public space:8 theology, in dealing with political realities, and especially in a
global scale, faces the difficulty of having a vision of reality which is not shared as
normative by some non-religious persons (sometimes even by religious persons too)
and organizations. Thus, the theological way of looking at reality should not be
proclaimed as superior to others visions, aprioristically. Second, there is the constant
and practical risk for theology on just being a flattering legitimation of a determined
political reality which could be an evil for human beings (and the environment) in a
specific context or worldwide, in the short or long term. In any case, the relation
between theology and politic in history is undeniable. 9 Therefore, it is important to
reflect on this relationship.
The importance of relating theology and politic, lies also to a great extent in
the cumulative experience of theology in asking and furthering questions to itself
and others perspectives of reality in regard to that absolute reality hidden in or
assumed by them with all the implications or possible consequences it carries for
human life.10 If we accept that theology reflect on the all embracing reality (God or
the divine), in an indirect form, as Pannenberg would say, 11 and that such a reflection
has at its basis and always leads to accept or deny some kind of conceptions of
social order, then all political discourses that legitimizes any social reality by

7 For reason of space, it is not possible here to develop this idea that would require
a more systematic approach.

8 Many models of Public Theology have appeared in the last decades. They differ
between each other on their assumptions. However, the most important difference
lies on the concept of the public which is always an ambiguous concept. On the
different models of the so-called Public Theology see, Eneida Jacobsen, Models
of Public Theology, International Journal of Public Theology 6 (2012) 722.
For an example of the use of the concept, see Rudolf von Sinners paper for the
International Twin Consultation, Churches in the public sphere: towards a public
theology focused on citizenship, 5 6. In this article the concept of private property
as a public issue is not important.

9 This is affirmed by Alvaro d'Ors Prez-Peix in his work, Teologa Poltica. Una revisin del
Problema Revista de estudios polticos 205 (1976) 41-80. Available on internet at
https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=1704519. According to this author the term political
theology was first coined by Carl Schmitt in 1922.

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appealing to God or by using theological arguments or terms, can be approached
by theological reflection. Theology, therefore, in general terms, comes to be a
critically way of understanding and expressing that reality that we dear to call (or
present to as) God or divine in our discourses which always come from
experience. A Christian theology (a theology of Christianism 12) would be a more
particular endeavour or discourse specified by its object: The faith in the God of
Jesus as witnessed in the First and Second Testament. Therefore, I understand it as
a way of critically interpreting and discoursing on the God who is present in the faith
of believers in Jesus Christ.
In what it follows, I am going to make a theological reflection concerning to
contemporary political commitment of believers. More precisely, I am going to reflect
theologically on some current global discourses that are calling us to get committed
on political issues. First, I present what I consider to be the signs of the times.
There is in our contemporary world different discourses that induces or invites us
specially to people of faith to commitments of different kinds, some of which come
from the global political arena. 13 Order or disorder, civilization or chaos, are some of
the realities (topics) present in such discourses. There are plenty of such
addresses in our todays world, however I am going to limit my reflection to the
discourses given by Mr. Barack Obama president of the U.S.A, Mr. Vladimir Putin,

10 The Spanish theologian Alfonso Alvarez Bolado, in a series of lectures given at


the German Institue of Madrid, Spain, on March 29 th and from April 1st to 5th, and
reflecting on the role of theology in modern times, affirmed that one of the first task of
political theology is to make the church conscious about its political use which is
sometimes denied. In Karl Rahner, Johan Baptist Metz, Jrgen Moltmann, and
Alfonso Alvarez Bolado. Dios y la Cuidad. Nuevos Planteamientos en Teologa
Poltica (Madrid: Cristiandad, 1974), 60.

11 Wolfhart Pannenberg, Teoria de la Ciencia, 308 309.

12 See on this distinction, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Ibid., 354 (footnote 1)

13 It is well known, for instance, that the World Council of Churches participated in
developing of the concept of responsibility to protect within the United Nations. The
Council has been one of the advocates of the concept internationally. See on this,
Cf. Gareth Evans, The responsibility to protect: Moving Towards a Shared
Consensus; en Semegnish Asfaw, Guillermo Kerber y Peter Weiderud
(eds.). The responsibility to protect. Ethical and Theological Reflecions
(Geneva: World Council of Churches, 2005), 3 y 4.

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President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for
Foreign Affairs of Germany, and Xi Jinping, President of Peoples Republic of China,
at the 70th anniversary of the General Assembly of the United Nations in September
and October, 2015. The important point here is to see how they legitimize their
respective political views on social global realities by appealing to theological terms
or concepts, and get their meaning. I am not going then to make an exhaustive
exegesis of the speeches of the four presidents.
Second, I am going to present the perspective of the underside of history, on
the topic, as an invitation to make a commitment for life. This endeavour pretends to
be in line with the traditional concern of liberation theology, which can be translated
into the question, how are we to proclaim the God of life to men and women who die
prematurely and unjustly?14 In any case, it must be said from the very beginning that
the underside of history still is a perspective in search of deeper foundations rather
than a systematic and completed theology. Therefore, this perspective is presented
here in the form of questions and short points. In the last stage, the hope is that this
effort is within the spirit of the reform: a spirit critical of all form of abuse,
authoritarianism or political absolutism (Luther, and Mntzer).
Lets start with a description of the world of today: the sign of the times.

1. The sign of the times: Searching for a new (global) order


It is said that the world is becoming a village. 15 The analogy expresses the
idea that the world of today is more interconnected at different levels; that we, all the
people of earth, influence each other. If this is true, we can accept the thought that
the political ideas that are discussed or debated at the highest political level are

14 On this specific question see Gustavo Gutirrez. Hablar de Dios desde


el sufrimiento del inocente. Una reflexin sobre el libro de Job (Salamanca:
Sgueme, 1988), 18-19.

15 In the religious field, Prof. Andreas Nehring has pointed out the interdependency
of the local and global for the mission of the church. See his Reformation and
globalization. Some cultural perspectives. A paper presented at the Akademisches
Summer School in Neuendettelsau, Germany, on July 4 8th , 2016.

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influencing our own lives and life, and vice-versa, in many ways. 16 This statement is
arguable. However, lets assume it.
The highest political institution in todays world is the United Nations (UN). As
we all know, it was established after the second War World by the winnings powers
of the moment. Since then, all the nations of the world gather together to debate
about the most pressing issues of the planet to maintain the so called international
order. Climate change, development, human rights, poverty, security, and terrorism
are some of the contemporary concerns of this institution. In all these matters, there
are many differences and communalities between countries representatives.
However, the most significant disagreement, nowadays, between the representatives
at the UN, is their view concerning to the global social order: Some claim that we
need a new global social order, but others are no so fast to agreed. The United
Nation itself is under question by some nations because of the difficulties it finds to
establish some rules or course of actions to all its members. It must be remembered
that all kind of debates at the UN lead in its final stage to statements, some of which
are (or not) international biding in terms of law.
In September and October, 2015 th, the 70th anniversary of the United Nations
was celebrated. Presidents Obama, Putin, Xi Jinping and the German Minister
Walter Steienmeir attended the meeting in New York. 17 All of them discoursed in front
of all the nations of the world on various topics, and used some terms or concepts
reminiscent of theological ideas. In their remarks, the four representatives started by
making reference to the origin of the UN and the post-war world order: as one built
by the members of this body out of the ashes of the Second World War, to
prevent a third world war (Obama 18); as the light that was shed on the dark 20 th
century (Steienmeier)19, as produced by a victory that closed a dark page in the

16 See on this Anthony Giddens.Modernidad e Identidad del Yo. El yo en la


Sociedad contempornea (Barcelona: Pennsula, 1995), 10.

17 All the speeches can be accessed online at the UN website in


http://www.un.org/en/ga/documents/index.shtml

18 Barack Obama, Remarks by President Obama to the United Nations General


Assambly, September 28, 2015, 1.

19 Frank-Walter Steienmeier. 70th Session of the General Assambly of the United


Nations, Octuber 1st, 2015, 2.

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annals of human history, which carries mankinds hope for a new future (Xi
Jinping).20 The president of the Russian Federation limited himself, at the beginning
of his remarks, to just point out the victory against Nazism by the effort of the
winner countries in the war as the foundation of the post-war world order.
Order was the most important concern for the four speakers: Order (the
international order) is threatened by chaos. For some of them it is true that this
(international) order is not perfect but it has protected us from relapsing into the old
barbarism (Steienmeier21); that there have been conflict that claimed untold victims
(Obama22), but this order has advanced human liberty and prosperity; 23 that this
order is composed by fundamental principles (Xi Jinping 24), and rules (Putin);25 that
this order is an institution that should combat the darkest forces threatening it
(Obama).
In any case, what is at stage for the three presidents and German minister is
the new order to come. For Putin, the future order must be guided by common
values and interests.26 This is also a reality for all the four presidents. And the values
are no so different: for Obama, Putin, Xi Jinping, and Steienmeier the values are
related to the market. They even claim for cooperation and consensus, and not
confrontation. However, there are some differences in such a view: the chines
president, for instance, affirmed that the market forces must be accompanied by the
State; for the Russian president, the state is also important for a reality that,

20 Interestingly, Putin was the only of the four presidents who did not used a single
theological term, at the opening of his address. Vladimir Putin, Statement by H.E.
Mr. Vladimir V. Putin, President of the Russian Federation, at the 70 th session of the
UN General Assambley, September 28th, 2015, 1.

21 Op. cit., 2.

22 Op. cit. 1.

23 Idem.

24 Op. cit. 1.

25 Op. cit. 3. Putin speak more explicitly about the UN organization rather than an
international order as such.

26 Ibid., 6.

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according to him, is dominated by the laws of the free marked. The new order must
be driven by Human Rights, according to the German Minister. For Obama, the
international order must be freed from absolute powers, because ordinary people
are fundamentally good.27 More can be said, however lets stop here with the
description of the discourses of the presidents at the United Nations.
It seems that all the powerful actors of the world are competing between them
to make order in the world. All of them recognizes the law of the marked except
one (at least not explicitly) to organize the international society and the world order.
All of them except one have used theological terms to speak of order vs. chaos,
to make us aware of the world situation. This need to be addressed critically. The
question is, would it be possible to achieve a new order (a more just order?), based
on the law markets alone, or without a State? 28 If the answer is yes, then the
following question would be: in which sense? Are the big powers of the world
interested in a more just order? How do they understand justice?
In any case, we can further ask: what is the role of the insignificants of the
earth in shaping the new world order? If there is any role, would it really be
performed for their own benefit and free of manipulation or hidden agenda? We need
to reflect theologically about this reality; most importantly, we need a theology from
the perspective of the underside of the history.

2. The theological perspective of the underside of history: A world order in


which all the people can live the fullness of life in disorder

Theology, as was indicated at the beginning of this paper, has always been
intertwined with politics. It has legitimated different forms of power during history by
religious authorities, or religious elites.29 It has also rendered strength, many times,
to the people against tyranny and oppression. In todays world, theology is
challenged (invited?), again, to see itself and see other discourses, critically; and it is
also being challenged to place its own discourse in midst of the global political arena

27 Obama, Op. cit., 11-12.

28 On the analysis of the theological arguments to sustain conservative, neoliberal,


and socialist societies, see Franz Hinkellammert. Critica a la razn utopica. 17 - 90.

29 On the relation between politics and religion in history see, Gury Schneider-Ludorff, Religion and
politics: Reformation stimuli and their meaning for today, 1 12. A paper presented at the
Akademisches Summer School in Neuendettelsau, Germany, on July 4 8th , 2016.

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in which there is a search for a new order. The question is, how theology and the
believers are responding or going to respond to these challenges and tendencies,
and with which language? What kind of order do we propose or need to be
committed to as believers?
A few decades ago, liberation theology,30 in a very ecumenical way, started a
new way of doing theology committed to the struggles of the poor. It was facing one
urgent question of the moment: how are we to proclaim the God of life to men and
women who die prematurely and unjustly?. 31 Poverty was (and still is) a main
concern of the moment in the context of Latin America; many Christians and non-
Christian peoples struggled against it in different ways, facing persecution,
imprisonment and torture.
Some theologians saw in that struggle a sing of the time: a deep aspiration
for liberation. An aspiration for liberation in all aspects of life, product of a historical
movement;32 an aspiration existing in all the people of earth, but particularly in the
poorest: an awakening of the awareness of the poor people of the continent

30 For a short account on the origin and evolution of Latin American Liberation
Theology, see Juan Jos Tamayo (edr.). Panorama de la Teologa
Latinoamericana. Cuando vida y pensamiento son inseparables. (Navarra:
Verbo Divino, 2001), 11 52. Two more things are important to mention:
first, it was Gustavo Gutirrez who first outlined a liberation theology,
understood as such, in 1968 in Chimbote, Per, in a meeting of laics. On
this see, Gustavo Gutirrez, Toward a Theology of Liberation, in Alfred T.
Hennely S.J (ed.). Liberation Theology. A documentary history (Maryknoll,
N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1990) 62 64; second, almost from the very beginning
there were different liberation theologies, not only in Latin America but
in other parts of the world. See on this, Rosino Gibellini. La Teologia del
Siglo XX (Cantabria: Sal Terrae, 1998), 371 409.

31 Gustavo Gutirrez, Hablar de Dios, 19. 15. The question is also placed by the author
in, La verdad los har libres, 17.

32 Gustavo Gutirrez, A Theology of Liberation: History, politics, and


salvation. Translated by Sister Caridad Inda and John Eagleson from the
Spanish (Maryknoll N.Y: SCM Press, 2001), 74. For the author, the signs of the
time are a call for commitment and interpretation. Rubem Alves spoke of that
aspiration in terms of a new kind of awareness and language. An awareness and
language which announced the birth of a new community: the world of proletariat:
All those people, in rich or poor countries that share the new language, and the
experience which has originated it. Cf. Rubem Alves. Cristianismo, Opio o
Liberacin?. (Salamanca: Sgueme, 1973), 22 23.

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concerning to their oppression: 33 they want to be the master of their life. (All of that
occurred during the times of the so-called cold war).
It seemed to some Latin-American theologians that the aspiration for
liberation had to be reflected theologically. Such a reflection, they thought, should be
related to the struggles faced in the region; it should be an unideological theology
(one from which a political action could not be deduced); and it should also take into
account the contribution of the universal church. 34 A crucial role came to play, for the
developing of the logic of this reflection, the rediscovering of eschatology in theology:
Faith in a God who loves us and calls us to the gift of full communion with God and
fellowship with others not only is not foreign to the transformation of the world; it
leads necessarily to the building up of that fellowship and communion in history:
God is a liberating God, a God of life.35
History, then, was conceived as process of liberation in which God was
present and acting. A liberation, however, consisting not only of improving the
condition of life, or a radical change of structures, or a social revolution; more
importantly, it consisted of a new way of being human, of a permanent cultural
revolution.36 Thus, transformation of society to a more just society, and the need of a
new man was among the main concerns of the resultant theology: the perspective
of the underside of history, of the non-human beings of the world. 37 A theological
effort which was understood as a second act being the first one that of the
commitment to charity and service 38 with the poor as one of the center of its
reflection.39 What poor? As Gutirrez puts it:

33 For a description of the struggles of the moment, see Gustavo Gutirrez, Notes
for a Theology of Liberation, Theological Studies 31 (1970), 243 261.

34 Gutirrez, A Theology of Liberation, 1 2.

35 Gustavo Gutirrez. El Dios de la Vida. (Lima: CEP-Instituto Bartolome de las


Casas, 2004). The first date edition is from 1988.

36 Gustavo Gutirrez, A Theology of Liberation, 71.

37 Gustavo Gutirrez, The Power of the Poor in History. (New York:


Maryknoll, 1983), 92. The author does not uses the concept in an
ontological way.

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[...] to be poor means to die of hunger, to be illiterate, to be exploited
by others, not to know that you are being exploited, not to know that
you are a person. It is in relation to this poverty material and
cultural, collective and militant that the evangelical poverty will
have to define itself.40
Some people reacted against Liberation theology and its theologians. They
considered it to be a radical perspective on faith, a Marxist theology. 41 Some of this
criticism had the intention to held in order (orthodoxy) the young theology; to not
let it gone out of order. 42 Nevertheless, there was also a healthy criticism which did
a great favour to liberation theology: It helped it (with intention?), to develop a little
more its arguments, basis, and aims. In any case, the young theology from the
underside of history declared death by some people during the 90s of the last
century was always, and still is, in search of a closer relation with the

38 Gutierrez affirmed that explicitly. Unfortunately, the English version has mis-
translated that specific affirmation, which also lacks a part of the text. For a
comparison between the Spanish and English, see Gustavo Gutirrez. Teologa de
la Liberacin. Perspectivas. (Salamanca: Sgueme,1972) 35, and A Theology of
Liberation, 55. Another point to mention, is that the definition of what theology is, has
been also mis-translated in the English version where one reads: Theology must be
critical reflection on humankind, on basic human principles, A Liberaion Theology,
55. However, in the Spanish one reads: La teologa debe ser un pensamiento crtico
de s misma, de sus propios fundamentos, Teologa de la Liberacin, 34. Gutirrez,
in the Spanish version, is talking about a theology critical of itself, of its basis, not
about a principled theology.

39 Gutirrez was always aware about the ambiguous character of the term poverty.
He himself affirmed that ambiguity in his already cited work, A Theology of
Liberation, 254.

40 Ibid., 255. Emphasis mine.

41 For instance, the Lutheran theologian Caarl A. Braaten in his, Praxis: The Trojan
horse in Liberation Theology, Dialogue: A journal of Theology 4 (1984), 276 280.

42 The questioning of its authority was an important concern to the Congregation


for the doctrine of Faith. See for instance its Ten observation on the
theology of Gustavo Gutirrez, in Alfred T. Henely, Documentary, 350.
See also Michael Novak, The case against Liberation Theology, in the
New York Times, Octuber 21, 1984.

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insignificants of the world; it is still in search for answers, and eager of life for
those at the margin of our societies, at a local but also international level. 43
A (Christian) theology from the underside of history, in present times, should
be kept as a theology on the way; a theology always in search; a questioning
theology. However, it needs not to forget three important elements of the first
liberation theology: the reflection on faith (within and out of the Bible), the option for
the poor, and the need to relate praxis and theory anew. For two reasons: On the
one hand, the poor people (the so-called non-productive persons: homeless,
involuntary and drastically unemployed, new slaved, insignificants men and
women of the world), still is with us, still is looking for a place where to live, to be
welcomed. The poor of the world are those who accumulate suffering and pain on
their shoulders, and struggle to survive day by day; they have a way of perceiving,
reasoning, and acting, different to others; 44 they have a common way of being, and
their own language, which come out of their experience in society. They dont want
to live in suffering and the migration of poor people in search for a better future,
despite all the incertitude or risks on the way, is a proof of it or to be considered as
insignificants; they also carry their faith wherever they go. Being solidary with them is
being in solidarity with humanity because, if God loves all human beings, and want
no one to be put or held in such a innocent suffering (Gutirrez), then solidarity with
the poorest of the world means to struggle for all humanity, for a more human world:
a vision more in correspondence with the love of the father of Jesus Christ. 45

43 Some of the new endeavors to do liberation theology can be found in Thia


Cooper (edr.). The Reemergence of Liberation Theologies. Models for the Twenty-
First Century. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013); Joerg Rieger (edr.). Religion,
Theolgy, and Class. Fress Engagements after a Long Silence. (New York: Palgrave
MacMillan, 2013). These new endeavors, however, have many critical points to
deal with. Unfortunately, we cannot elaborate on them here.

44 We develop our perceptions, ways of thinking, and ways of acting, due to society.
This is understood by Schfer, who follows Bordieouss idea, as habitus: a
disposition in the individual and groups developed and performed in social positions
or fields. See, Heinrich Schfer, Existe mi mama porque yo existo? El ser humano
como red de relaciones: una propuesta sociolgica ms all del sujeto in Jos
Duque (ed.). Perfiles Teolgicos para un Nuevo Minlenio. (San Jos: DEI, 2004),
147 181.

45 See on this, Gustavo Gutirrez, The God of life, 3 65.

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The critical question at this point is: is it possible to achieve a more human
world? Is it possible to accomplish a world order in which all the people can live a
more human life? How would it look like? Honestly, these questions are no so easy
to answer. However, when we see historically, we can see that there were times
when many things where unthinkable to achieve. Furthermore, it may be the case
that the term possible and the concept of possibility is understood differently by
different people and group of peoples, because of their different experiences of living
together. Thus, what is possible or not, in terms of solidarity, would depend on how
you have experienced it. In any case, from the underside of history a questioning
theology is more in accordance to the experience of the left behind (the out
siders); the ones who see to heaven and ask, why me God?; they are the ones
that still dance and say, I really dont know but I am in Gods hand. So, they still
worship this God; the God to whom Jesus also asked: why you abandoned me
father; the God to whom Job also criticised; they are also those who share the only
coin they have.
On the other hand, if a theology from the underside of history stops asking,
critically, about faith, about a world order in which no-one suffer poverty, and in
relating praxis and theory, it would be so easy for those in position of power to
manipulate faith, the poor, and to legitimate discourses to take more and more
advantage of the insignificants of the world.
All the before, always invite us to see the mission of the church anew,
especially in its global perspective. The poor people doesnt need food remains,
second hand clothes, or more faith. They dont need to be defended in any matter
(paternalistically) by no one. They only ask us to let them be. The latter can be
translated as a call to see them differently: with their own values, and their own way
of doing things; to give them the right to live in disorder: an order in which they are
free and open to welcome everyone, and to share what they can; to give them their
right to make mistakes in their enterprises in society; 46 the right to worship God free
of manipulation. This is also a call to start challenging our own power (as individual),
46 We must remember that the poor people of the so-called modern world,
especially those who are living in the third world countries, they know (by
experience) more than anyone else about the meaning and effects of imperialism,
genocide, death and nothingness; they knew about all of that even before the
second war world took place. They have resisted all horrors of history with solidarity
and faith. True, that does not make them good, but more aware about it.

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and the powerful people and structures in our own societies; a call to do mission in
our own countries to change things in the world order.

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