Justice on the Cross: Palestinian Liberation Theology, the Struggle Against Israeli Oppression, and the Church by Kathleen Christison
At its heart, liberation theology is a modern theology of resistance to the oppression imposed by colonialist and post-colonialist systems and even by churches that cooperate with secular centers of power to oppress the poor and disadvantaged. It is a grassroots social justice theology, a cri de coeur, that seeks to give spiritual succor and hope to those living in seemingly hopeless circumstances. Palestinians--a people whose suffering has largely been forgotten by the world since Israel's establishment and who are most often stereotyped as extremists and enemies of Israel with no legitimate claim to their own homeland--are among the world's most marginalized populations. The small Palestinian Christian community, an indigenous population descended from Jesus's first followers, has created a liberation theology for the Palestinian context that reaches out to its own Christian faithful and their Muslim compatriots. This is a nonviolent political-theological resistance that follows Jesus's teaching that God is present with all God's children and heeds Jesus's gospel injunctions to comfort the suffering and "let the oppressed go free." For Palestinians, their very survival in the land is resistance to Israel's efforts to remove them, and liberation theology sustains their resistance. Jesus was the first liberation theologian.
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