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ACTIONS AS THE TIES THAT BIND

Love, Praxis, and Community in the Thought of Gustavo Gutiérrez

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

Gustavo Gutiérrez develops an account of human action or praxis that I—borrowing the language of Charles Taylor—label expressivist. Human action must be understood as expressing an underlying potential or impulse that only becomes real through expression in action. Gutiérrez's expressivism is fundamental to his view of the relationship between faith and love, his notion of three dimensions of liberation/salvation, and his understanding of the fundamental option as a yes or no in response to grace. Moreover, it supports a valuable approach to community as defined more by shared actions than a shared tradition or narrative. The final section briefly indicates two limitations to Gutiérrez's vision—especially with regard to the conception of community—and suggests the direction that a constructive appropriation of his thought might take.

Keywords: Gutiérrez; action; community; fundamental option; liberation theology; practice

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9795.2005.00233.x

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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