Faithful obligations: Merold Westphal’s middle class liberation theology

  • Justin Sands North-West University Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

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.

References

“Census, Quick Facts about Philadelphia,” United States Census Bureau, accessed February 2015,
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42/42101.html.

“‘Moochers’ and ‘makers’ in the voting booth,” from Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. Accessed February 2015,
http://journalistsresource.org/studies/politics/elections/moochers-makers-voting-booth#.

Sands, Justin, “Radical Eschatology: Westphal, Caputo, and Onto-Theology,” Louvain Studies 38 (2014), 246-268.

Westphal, Merold; Thomas Ludwig; Robin Klay; David Myers, Inflation, Poortalk, and the Gospel, (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1981); Westphal, Suspicion and Faith, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998).

Westphal, Merold, Kierkegaard's Critique of Reason and Society, (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1987).

-----, Hegel, Freedom, and Modernity, (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992).

-----, “Levinas, Kierkegaard, and the Theological Task,” Modern Theology 8, no. 3 (July 1992), pp. 246-250.

-----, Transcendence and Self-Transcendence (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004).

-----, Whose Community? Which Interpretation? Philosophical Hermeneutics for the Church, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009).
Published
2016-06-30
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: <http://theologica.cz/index.php/theologica/article/view/152>. Date accessed: 17 july 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.14712/23363398.2016.10.

Keywords

Liberation Theology; Philosophical Theology; Fundamental Theology