Faithful obligations: Merold Westphal’s middle class liberation theology

  • Justin Sands North-West University Potchefstroom, South Africa


Often, liberation theology's preferential option for the poor is pushed aside within theological discourses as being too specific, too focused on social problems, to function as a viable theology for the Church as a whole. Through this line of reasoning, many often see liberation theology as something that can remind Christians of their need to help others, but it cannot become the foundation for a sustainable belief system. In response to this, I claim that a liberation theology can be viable for daily life of all persons and this article explores this argument through the work of Merold Westphal, who's philosophical theology founds a style of liberation theology that is directed at the middle class -- in his context the American middle class. This article explores the ways in which liberation theology can work as a general, programmatic theology for all within the Church, which not only empowers those at the margins but society as a whole. 

Author Biography

Justin Sands, North-West University Potchefstroom, South Africa
Dr. Justin Sands is a postdoctoral researcher at North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.


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How to Cite
SANDS, Justin. Faithful obligations: Merold Westphal’s middle class liberation theology. Acta Universitatis Carolinae Theologica, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 197–212, june 2016. ISSN 2336-3398. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 jan. 2020. doi:


Liberation Theology; Philosophical Theology; Fundamental Theology