Dialectic of Salvation

Issues in Theology of Liberation

By Anselm K. Min

Subjects: Liberation Theology
Paperback : 9780887069093, 207 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780887069086, 207 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents


I. Theology of Liberation: Issues and Challenges
History and Theology
Issues in Theology of Liberation
Purpose and Scope of This Book

II. Philosophical Sources of Liberation Theology
Theological Appropriation of Marxism
The Marxian Moment of Liberation Theology
Why Marxism?
The Marxism of Liberation Theology
Attitude of Liberation Theology Towards Marxism
The Hegelian Moment of Liberation Theology

III. Theology and Praxis
The Problem of Theory and Praxis
Criticisms of Theology of Liberation
The Vatican
Schubert Ogden
Historicity of Theology
Faith and Praxis
Theology and Praxis
The Historical Particularity of Theology
Theology and Solidarity
The Disclosive Function of Solidarity
Three Models of Solidarity
Dialectic of Magisterium, Avant-garde, People
The Hermeneutic Circle
The Socio-analytic Mediation
Scripture and Historicity
The Hermeneutic Mediation
Responses to Critics
Transcendence, Existence, History
The Poor as Concrete Universal
Praxis as Transcendental Horizon
Limits of Pure Reason

IV. Dialectic of Salvation and Liberation
Criticisms of Theology of Liberation
The Vatican
Stanley Hauerwas
John B. Cobb, Jr.
Dialectic of Salvation and Liberation
Transcendence and History: Charge of Reductionism
Three Dimensions of Liberation: Their Distinction
Three Dimensions of Liberation: Their Relation
Dialectic of Social and Personal Sin
The Social and the Personal
The Concept of Social Sin
The Meaning of the Political
Responses to Critics

V. The Vatican's Theology of Liberation: A Critique
Has the Vatican Changed Its Mind?
The Vatican's Theology of Liberation
Theology of Sin and Salvation
Anthropology of Personal Existence
Personal and Social Sin
Social Doctrine of Liberation
The Vatican's Anthropology: A Critique
Reduction of the Social to the Personal
Social Conditions of Freedom
Conditions of Structural Change
Beyond Abstract Personalism

VI. The Signs of the Times and the Future of Theology: Concluding Reflections
The Signs of the Times
Towards a Foundational Theology of Concrete Totality




This book provides a detailed examination of the central philosophical and theological themes of liberation theology. It covers the role of history and praxis, the dialectics of salvation and liberation, the concept of social and personal sin, Marxism, and the anthropology of concrete totality as the basis of theology.


Dialectic of Salvation is issue oriented, coming to grips with the many criticisms of liberation theology—the criticisms of the Vatican, Schubert Ogden, and Dennis McCann. The critics are answered through a thorough analysis of the issues involved and a detailed presentation of the position of liberation theology.

The book presents the first substantial discussion between the Vatican and liberation theology. It analyzes the Vatican's own theology of freedom and its social doctrine of liberation, focusing on its anthropological assumptions, and shows that the present conflict between the two parties is a conflict between two radically opposed horizons and modes of thinking, between the personalist and the dialectical.

Min provides a Hegelian interpretation of liberation, arguing that it is the first theology to take the Hegelian-Marxian heritage seriously in the context of contemporary theology.

Anselm Kyongsuk Min is Professor of Philosophy at Belmont Abbey College, North Carolina.