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Handbook of U.S. Theologies of Liberation

SKU 9780827214484

edited by Miguel A. De La Torre


A typical "Introduction to Theology" often emphasizes the viewpoints of Western, Eurocentric male theologians, sidelining the perspectives of other cultural and ethnic groups. These diverse voices are frequently relegated to footnotes or elective courses, allowing students from the dominant culture to graduate without exposure to alternative theological viewpoints. This imbalance reflects a notion of objectivity that favors Eurocentric perspectives, perpetuating the myth that these are more objective and legitimate. In reality, all theological perspectives are shaped by specific social, cultural, and historical contexts. Therefore, they are inherently contextual and subject to the experiences of their creators.

Handbook of U.S. Theologies of Liberation addresses this imbalance by presenting Christian concepts from the vantage point of marginalized communities in the United States. It surveys various forms of liberation theology rooted in African American, Amerindian, Asian American, feminist, gay/lesbian, and Hispanic experiences. The book highlights prominent theologians and recurring themes within these theologies while exploring the interplay between religion, community, and culture in the context of marginalized groups.

The handbook is divided into two sections: "Thematic Essays," which provide overviews of specific theological themes from different marginalized perspectives, and "Contextual Essays," which focus on the unique contributions of scholars from diverse backgrounds. It's important to note that no single unified theological perspective emerges from these marginalized spaces; instead, there are numerous variations within and among these groups. The contributors aim to shed light on common themes and perspectives within these communities, fostering understanding and dialogue across diverse theological traditions.

PART ONE: Thematic Essays 

  • God: JoAnne Marie Terrell
  • Christ: Carter Heyward
  • The Holy Spirit: Elizabeth Conde-Frazier
  • Trinity: Luis G. Pedraja
  • Church: Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas
  • Anthropology: Andrea Smith
  • Scripture: Miguel A. De La Torre
  • Ethics: Darryl M. Trimiew
  • Sin: Andrew Sung Park
  • Spirituality: Karen Baker-Fletcher
  • Eschatology: Luis N. Rivera-Pagan 


  • Latin American Liberation Theology: Phillip Berryman
  • African Americans: Will Coleman
  • Hispanics: Edwin David Aponte
  • Asian Americans: Seung Ai Yang
  • Black Theology: Dwight N. Hopkins
  • Latino/a Theology: Justo L. González
  • Asian American Theology: Fumitaka Matsuoka
  • American Indian Traditions: Tink Tinker
  • Feminist Theology: Karen K. Seat
  • Lesbian and Gay Theologies: Daniel T. Spencer
  • Theology of the Poor: Deborah W. Little
  • Environmental Racism: Steven Bouma-Prediger
  • Postcolonialism & Liberation: Musa W. Dube


“This volume represents a splendid introduction to the various dimensions and strands of liberation theology in the United States. Its mixture of contextual essays, covering the major groupings in question, and thematic essays, encompassing the major areas of theological studies, is most felicitous and helpful. In every respect, therefore, this is a singular contribution to theology writ large.”
—Fernando F. Segovia, Vanderbilt Divinity School