Liberative Solidarity: Contemporary Perspectives on Mission by K. C. Abraham
Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham is a presbyter of the Church of south India and a leading Third World theologian. He is director of the South Asia theological Research Institute, Bangalore, India and director of the board of theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College. The book was published by Christava Sahitya Samithi, Tiruvalle, April 1996, and is used by permission of the publisher. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.
Chapter 6: Mission in the Context of Endemic Poverty and Affluence
Poverty in Asia
The most disturbing aspect of the condition of a majority of people in Asia is that they not only continue to be poor but have become poorer even after considerable developmental activities. The pattern of economic growth in all the countries in Asia favours the rich and creates imbalances in the relationships between different sections of people.
The bulk of capital investment is concentrated in the industrial or advanced sector in the belief that rapid industrialisation would create conditions for wider utilisation of the abundant labour available and reduce inequalities in income distribution. But what has really happened is that the advanced sector has achieved considerably more expansion and led to the impoverishment of the traditional sector. The gap between two sectors had widened. In other words, the majority of the population are left outside the development process.
Poverty thus is not merely an economic problem. There is a system that produces it and perpetuates it. Broadly defined, such a system is one in which the decision-making process and control are concentrated in the hands of persons or groups whose interests are so fundamentally inimical to the well-being of life as a whole. Not only do they keep the masses away form the centres of power but also fail to solve the basic problems of mass poverty glaring inequalities, growing unemployment and rising prices. When there arises any organized effort by the masses to redress their grievances it is brutally suppressed. Imposition of authoritarian and repressive regimes, denial of human rights and excessive dependence of foreign elite. “A culture of silence is imposed upon the people, thus choking their cries for dignity, self-respect, right to life and right to food.”
Poverty disrupts the very fabric of human relationships. It brings new forms of cultural enslavement. M.M. Thomas points out, “While technological advance, agricultural and industrial development and modernisation of social structures are necessary they accentuate the pathological exploitative characteristics of traditional society by destroying their traditional humanising aspects, if traditional power-structures and the social institutions in which they are embodied remain unchanged.” In this way the problem of poverty is social and cultural as well as economic and political. Careful analysis of seemingly concealed working of the forces and consequences of it is highly essential. The fundamental concern is the quality of life, the life in all its fullness. What is the good news of Jesus Christ to this situation?
Let us look at some of the biblical insights that are relevant for our consideration of the relation between the rich and the poor.
1. The Hebrew word Shalom which suggests a vision of the Hebrew people, of good life is translated inadequately as “peace”. But it refers to a social reality which brings the whole common life to a new fruition. When the Hebrew says that God wills Shalom, he visualises a life which encompasses prosperity of the earth and people and their happiness, even at times victors over enemies.
If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase and the tress of the field shall yield fruit. And your threshing shall last to the time of vintage; and the vintage shall last to the time of sowing; and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land securely... and you shall chase your enemies and they shall fall before you by the sword. (Leviticus 26:3-7)
Or again, another passage:
For the lord your God is bringing you in to a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines, and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. (Deut. 8:7-10)
2. The old Testament is quite unashamed of material abundance; in fact it is taken as a mark of God’s blessings. But it is not an unconditional blessing. The good life (Shalom) is dependent upon Israel remaining faithful to the covenant relationship, and this requires living sensitively with both God and the neighbour. Always Israel reminded that material abundance is a gift from God in nature and history. At the same time, those gifts are not given for us to do what we like. They are to be used responsibly for the neighbour’s good.
If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and shall lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be (Deut. 15:7).
3. As Israel grows in its covenant relationship with God, so also is this sensitivity to the responsibility to the neighbour extended beyond their own kinsmen. A body of legislations to prevent exploitation of all has been build up. Gustavo Gutierrez points out:
The Bible speaks of positive and concrete measures to prevent poverty from becoming established among the people of God. In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, there is very detailed legislation designed to prevent the accumulation of wealth and the consequent exploitation. It is said, for example, that what remains in the fields after the harvest and the gatherings of olives and grapes should not be collected, it is for the alien, the orphan, and the widow (Deut. 24:19-21; Lev. 19:9-10). Even more, the fields should not be harvested to the very edge so that something remains for the poor and the aliens (Lev. 23:2). The Sabbath, the day of the Lord, has a social significance; it is a day of rest for the slave and the aliens (Exod. 23:12; Deut. 5:14). The triennial tithe is not to be carried to the temple, rather it is for the alien, the orphan, and the widow (Deut. 14:28-29; 26:12). Interest on loans is forbidden (Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:35-37; Deut. 23:20). Other important measures include the Sabbath year and the Jubilee year. Every seven years, the fields will he left to lie fallow “to provide food for the poor of your people (Exod. 23:11; Lev. 25:2-7). Although it is recognised that this duty is not always fulfilled (Lev. 26:34-35). After seven years, the slaves were to regain their freedom (Exod. 21:2-6) and debts were to be pardoned (Deut. 15:1-18). This is also the meaning of the Jubilee year of Lev.25:10ff. It was...a general emancipation...of all the inhabitants of the land. The fields lay fallow; every man reentered his ancestral property, that is the fields and houses which had been alienated returned to their original owners.1
4. But in the writings of the prophets one’s neighbourly responsibilities is crystalised. They affirmed that without the inclusion of the powerless in the promise of the covenant, without a movement of justice that redirects the riches of the prosperous toward the needs of the poor, the people are at war with their God.
It is as though the righteous God of Israel were showing a curious bias towards all who are weak and oppressed, towards the down-and-out who cannot help themselves, the fatherless and the widow the deaf and the blind, the stranger and the poor. Consequently when Israel is called to imitate this righteous God, it too shall care for those who cannot take care of themselves; it shall not “ trample the head of the poor... and turn aside the way of the afflicted” (Amos 2:7); it shall not oppress its slaves nor its hired servants, be they fellow citizens or foreigners.
The ringing challenge of the shepherd from Tekoa; Amos, reverberates through all history as a passionate plea for justice for the poor.
Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.
The prophets were not against prosperity but they were concerned about the irresponsible ways in which riches were being misused, and that is the denial of Shalom.
5. It is in this line that at the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus is said to have received the scroll of Isaiah (a prophet) in the Synagogue and to have applied to himself to words of (Isa. 61:1-2).
The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has appointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of Sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19).
Jesus’ proclamation includes the full dimensions of a truly human life -- physical and mental healing, bringing new life to the poor; a new stewardship of all resources of the earth and the gifts of the grace of God for the flowering of human life, and to enable the principalities and powers on earth or in the air to perform their true political function.
But there is a difference between Israel’s understanding of the working of God’s power and Jesus’ ministry Formerly God’s power was completely allied to the political structures of Israel’s life, now instead the link is with the ministry of the suffering servant which has been embodied in Christ and which should be continued in the Church. Those who follow Jesus will have to take this ministry seriously since this is the ministry of a suffering servant. Its strategy is not based on the concepts of prosperity and power of the surrounding society, but rather it views the present age in the light shed upon it by the power of the coming Kingdom. It is in keeping with this that we find in the Gospel of John, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you “(John 14:27).
6. Three aspects of the Kingdom of God which Jesus preached are : a new consciousness, a new set of values and a new relationship. All these are inter-related.
Consciousness is a leaded word. What I have in mind by this is Jesus’ unconditional commitment to God the Father and his constant awareness that his life and ministry is God’s gracious gift. The sources of Jesus’ freedom is in his child-like trust in the gracious father. This ultimate trust releases him from all fears and false securities that are characteristic of our human existence. It is certainly not following a set of codes or laws but in the realisation of what one is by the gift of God. That is why I call this consciousness or awareness. Jesus’ life-style is being sensitised and/have continuously been transformed by this consciousness.
After all it is not difficult to understand the value of gift dimension for people who know the growing experience, for example of a child. It grows in the awareness of being loved, or having received the love of those who care for him. Without this awareness he is less human.
What Jesus therefore knew about God was that not only is He free and sovereign but he acts in love. Omnipotence is often described as a limitless power and might. Certainly there is all aspect of it in our consciousness of God. But it is equally if not more important for us to realise how Jesus’ God is limitless in his compassion. The limit sets to all acts of mercy are broken by Gods rule. The signs of the Kingdom therefore are “the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised, and the poor have good news preached to them” (Matt.11:5).
The fundamental values this consciousness brings are freedom and justice and love. All these are not mere abstractions or a matter of balancing interests between persons or groups. They are manifested in relationships. Therefore we cannot speak of our commitment to God and our adherence to values and the building up of new relationships in separate terms.
Kingdom of God enters into the lives of men by transforming human relations. In this process all institutions and structures are included. The controlling principle of this change is the radical demand of love. The disciples had to abandon all their goods (Mark 1:18-20; Matt 1:20-22) all that they had (Luke 5:11). The rich man who wanted to follow Jesus was asked to sell all he had (Mark. 10:21). In response to Peter’s comment: “Lo, we have left everything and followed you” Jesus replied with a promise which widens the horizon. It is addressed to everyone who for his sake, has abandoned his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or possessions (Mark 10:28-29). In other passages Jesus had made the absolute demand: whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matt. 16:25; Mark 8:35).
The purpose of these sayings is not to idealise poverty. In the New Testament poverty is considered neither a virtue nor an ideal. Disciples are asked to renounce all material possessions for the poor as a mark of their readiness to participate totally in the life of the community of those who hope only in the manifestation of the love and justice of God. The emphasis is on One’s unconditional openness to serve others in love.
In this connection it is useful to refer to the life of the early Christians who heard the call of discipleship. Their life is described in the Acts of the Apostles in these verses:
All whose faith had drawn them together held every thing in common: they would sell their property and possessions and make a general distribution on the need of each required. (Acts. 4:32)
This is often referred to as the early Christian “Communism”. But this is not correct. Obviously, it is not a political,... in fact, it has nothing whatever to do with the production of economic wealth. Indeed, its failure to provide for this has been seen as the cause of its later breakdown. It was a spontaneous expression of Christian love and fellowship - a deep sense of responsibility for one another.
As Gutierrez says, Jesus does not assume the condition of poverty and its tremendous consequences with the purpose of idealising it, but because of “love for and solidarity with men who suffer in it. It is to redeem them from their sins and to enrich them with his poverty. It is to struggle against human selfishness and everything that divides men and causes them to be rich and poor; possessors and dis-possessed, oppressors and oppressed.... If the ultimate cause of Man’s exploitation and alienation is selfishness, the deepest reason for voluntary poverty is love of neighbour.”
Thus Christian love expressed in solidarity with the poor, by the acceptance of poverty is a protest against poverty. The rejection of riches, and brotherly love for one’s neighbour in need is the sign of the total acceptance of Jesus and openness to the Kingdom which is to come.
The point I want to emphasise is that the interiority and exteriority of the Kingdom can not be separated. We express the interiority of the Kingdom as we grapple with the issues of our daily social existence. Conversion means changing our modes of thinking and ordering our priorities in accordance with the will of God. It is conversion to God and his Kingdom and therefore to his brother and the world. “It is a choice for total change of life from self-concern to love of neighbour; from getting and accumulating to giving, from exploitation to mercy, from love of dominating power to service, from pride to humility; from injustice to justice; from seeing the world as man’s to get the most out of it, to living in it as God’s world, destined by him for total human liberation in the life of the person and in human community”.
Jesus’ Response: Conflict, Solidarity and Suffering
The concern for the Kingdom is concretely expressed m the life and ministry of Jesus. Three dimensions of it are: conflict, solidarity and suffering. The social situation of the first century Palestine was unusually complex. Power and wealth were in the hands of a religious aristocracy comprising of the families of priests and a secular aristocracy which included the merchant princes and land-owners in Jerusalem. There were also artisans; small peasants and others who formed the middle class. A large number became unemployed and economically marginalised. The cultural dominance of the pure Israelites over those of mixed ancestry (Samaritans and Gentiles) created caste conflict. Jesus’ response to such a situation of economic exploitation and social oppression as part of his good news is important for us. They provide direction for our mission. We will briefly look at those three dimensions.
The demands of the Kingdom of God create conflict. “I have not come” said Jesus, “to bring peace but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34). When the structures of society have come to dominate and explicit human beings the action of God creates.
In the Old Testament as we have seen, God confronts the people with his Sword of Judgement. The faithfulness of Israel is tested by whether the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger are cared for and God makes their cause the basis of his condemnation. The same is true about the New Testament. The disciples are being continuously challenged to re-order this life and relationships to the extent of creating a virtual break from the traditional securities of family and religion.
As Prof. West observes:
This is still the dynamic of divine peace-making. It uncovers violence that hides beneath the structures of earthly peace, espouses the cause of the poor and oppressed -- but at the same time transforms their revolutionary messianism by the power of suffering service -- and undercuts the security of the comfortable, the powerful and the rich. Its pattern is the surrender of self for others, the acceptance of suffering and death because resurrection and new creation are in Christ, the world’s reality.2
The second dimension is Jesus’ Solidarity with the people, especially the poor and the oppressed. He proclaimed good news to the poor, calling them blessed. All four Gospel records reflect the profound concern for the poor. His compassion for the harassed and helpless cannot be discussed. The Gospel certainly is not neutral.
His table fellowship with tax collectors and sinners vividly expresses his solidarity with the victims of established powers. Eating is a symbol of fellowship. Jesus got into trouble for eating with social outcasts because for the Jews, meal is also a symbol of fellowship with God. This is why Jesus used the meal as a picture of the Kingdom.
He had compassion for the hapless victims. This compassion was not a mere feeling of charity, or made him work for some reform. Rather it led him to a ministry for their release as part of a larger vision for the transformation of man and society in a process of total liberation.
Harvey Perkins, formerly .... of the Christian Conference of Asia has given us an interesting Bible study with the theme of “Yoke”. He shows how the conflict and solidarity motifs are characteristically present in the Gospel. In Mathew’s gospel the dominant theme is the conflict with the powers that be and in Luke we have a picture of Jesus on the side of the poor and other marginalised groups. He analyses the birth narratives in each of these Gospels to illustrate his points.
The Kingdom is in conflict with the dominant consciousness and power structures; Kingdom in solidarity with the poor; the Kingdom is also of the Messiah, the suffering servant.
The very concept of Kingdom is closely related to the messianic Kingdom which Jesus had been expectantly waiting for. Has Jesus shared their vision? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that Jesus identified with the aspirations of people for a new age, but his strategy was different from the political messianism of his day There is a difference between Jesus’ messianism or messianic servanthood and the ruler-messianism or the political messianism.
Jesus has given a radical reorientation to the concept of messianism. Often messiahs are those rulers or heroes who crusade for domination and suppression of people. But the crucified messiah identifies himself with the suffering people. Jesus the messiah became a servant of the people, died for them and rose from the dead that we may rise from the power of death, even in this world.
People who rise with him historically are the messianic people, a sign of the Kingdom of God. Gutierrez says this people make known the kingdom through what has been called the “messianic inversion”. This is explained as follows:
The messianic inversion finds expression in, for example, the statement of the gospel that “the last shall be first” (Mt. 20:16). Such an assertion contradicts the value system of this world, in which the poor and the little folk do not count. The ecclesial community, the messianic people, show forth the gratuitousness of God’s love precisely in the measure that they promote in history the creative presence of the poor. The freely given and unmerited love of God is proclaimed by speaking of the poor and their needs, their rights and dignity, their culture, and, above all, of the God who wants to place them at the center of the history of the church.3
His identification with the powerless was total as it is revealed in the Cross. All who cry from the depths of suffering and despair from the freedom find an ally in him.
According to the Gospels, Jesus willingly surrendered himself to the will of God and even in the darkness of death he trusted him. Easter faith proclaims that. God vindicated Jesus by raising him from the dead, thus declaring him to be the expression of God’s own life and Kingdom.
Mission Our Response
The mission is our response to God’s liberating action in the world. “The mission which is conscious of the Kingdom will be concerned for liberation, not oppression; justice, not exploitation; fullness, not deprivation; freedom, not slavery; health, not disease; life, not death; No matter how the poor may be identified, this mission is for them.” Some of the implication of this for our task may be mentioned here:
1. The Mission is Radical Involvement.
This may be saying the obvious. But one or two dimensions of jt should be reiterated. Any radical involvement that is directed towards changing the structures of injustice becomes political. In this sense mission is another name for political action. Conflict is inevitable. One may not consciously advocate violence, but disruption and disorder surround any process of restructuring of society. Very often, emphasis on reconciliation has in effect meant a way of maintaining the status quo against necessary radical changes. Many of the action groups feel, for this reason, that they should speak more of conflict and less of reconciliation. We should not ignore the criticism implied in this position. The message of reconciliation that does not take seriously the nature of differences and also see the positive value of conflict for social change will not be meaningful for the struggle of different groups for justice. It is now widely recognised that legislation, public opinion and other apparatuses of democratic machinery alone cannot bring about the desired social justice for the weaker sections in India. They should be strengthened by the militant, organised struggle of the poor.
On the other hand, it is true that we cannot absolutise conflict. That will, end up in creating a self-righteous and de-humanising order as was shown in the history of revolutions. How to keep the conflict in any struggle for social justice and for giving love in creative tension?
2. Cultural Resources
Jesus knew that his people were being crushed under the weight of a heavy yoke of social and political oppression. He was also conscious of their cultural enslavement. Therefore his attention was turned to unveiling their cultural propensities for liberation. He spoke of the lilies of the field, the birds of the air, salt of the earth, the light of the world and so on. All symbols are taken from their life situation. The elemental realities thus drawn are all life-affirming. This closeness to one’s roots and soil is expressed in one’s culture. In Asia our religions are integrally related to our cultures. Therefore, in proclaiming the Kingdom of God in our context should mean taking seriously the cultural and religious symbols and traditions which embody their vision of life and wholeness.
The EATWOT, a fellowship of theologians of the Third World who are heavily influenced by the liberation theology of Latin America, met in Delhi in 1981. They were compelled to take a positive look at the liberative potentialities of Asian religious tradition. The final statement has given a pointed expression to this:
To be committed to the people’s struggle for social justice and to contemplate God within this involvement, both form the essential matrix or theology. Without this prayerful contemplation, God’s face is only partially seen and God’s Word only partially heard within the participation in God’s liberating and fulfilling action in history.4
Of course, we are aware of the ambiguous nature of our cultural and religious heritage. We are not romanticising the ancient religious and accepting them uncritically
Seers and saints of our land have made important contributions to the heightened awareness of man about himself and the world. But we have also seen the worst of these religions. They were used for exploiting masses, for protecting the vested interests of the high and mighty. The very idea of contemplation and silence was used to suppress the masses and they were made to accept passively their suffering making other -- worldly flights from realities.
There were positive elements in them. Sometimes they are prominently expressed in the protest movements and traditions within the dominant religions, in myths, stories and legends. We need to rediscover the dynamic heritage of ours. The heart of Asian religious tradition should be found in its response to human pain and suffering. The genius of Buddha for example is in that he provided a new perspective on the creative meaning of suffering. Great saints and gurus were on with the people in their anguish. Theirs is not a spirituality of manipulative power and strength, although there is a lot of it in Asian tradition as it is present in every other religious tradition. But, they knew that the power of the Ultimate is expressed in the strength of the people, in their sacrifice, love and truth.
C.S. Song of Taiwan has given expression to this concern in his theological interpretation of Chinese folk tale called “The faithful Lady Ming” and ends his reflections with these poignant words “Our political theology is located in the spaces created by the spiritual power of Asian people in suffering. And our power ethic is the ethic that believes in the ultimate victory of God who lives with people and gives them the power of true love, and justice. If this is God’s it should be ours also.”5
3. A New Spirituality
Most of us have been nurtured in the pietistic tradition and our understanding of Christian life is influenced by it. This tradition has been negative in its influence to the formation of any meaningful relationship with the concerns of society. Its reduction of the meaning of Salvation to the relationship of the individual soul with God and its refusal to open itself to the liberative act of God outside the familiar work are problematic. Even in circles which are open to the new evangelical thrust for social action, there has been no critical look at this theological framework. What emerges from this action is a style of engagement that is directed towards converting individuals to become “good men and women”. Social involvement becomes a matter of giving moral advice to people with the hope that moral men will lead immoral societies.
We need a spirituality that provides a basis for meaningful involvement in society and the struggles of people. It should guide us and sustain us. We may agree with Migliorie when he says:
We need a spirituality that is inclusive rather than exclusive, active as well as receptive, oriented to the coming of God’s Kingdom of righteousness and freedom throughout the world. We need a spirituality of liberation that will open us increasingly to a life of solidarity with others, especially with the poor.
M.M. Thomas in one of his early essays, when he was responding to the challenge of Gandhian spirituality speaks of the need for a “spiritual aristocracy” that accepts prophetic vocation as their communal style.
The practices of traditional spirituality -- Bible reading, prayer meditation, fellowship around the Word and Sacrament, service of the neighbour -- are all still valid provided they have a new orientation and new meanings. They will be linked with the “praxis of Christian freedom in solidarity with the poor”.
One of the important points about the new spirituality is how to read the biblical materials in terms of a dominant concern of our times namely the removal of present oppressive structures. Biblical symbols, stories and narratives are peculiarly relevant struggles in concrete situations. They describe the agonies and joys of the people, they articulate people’s questions and answers. Today this “people character” of the Bible is made obscure by professionals. There should be a process by which the Bible should be reappropriated by people to be used by them for their faith articulation.
Not only the way we read the Bible but also the practice of our prayer should be considered in the light of new challenges. People are taught to mechanically repeat the Lord’s Prayer and the prayer has become a way of asking favours from God. But the prayer should be a recalling to ourselves God’s concern for righteousness and his solidarity with the oppressed. Is this not the real meaning of the model prayer which our Lord has taught us? We pray for his Kingdom his will to be done and His name he hallowed. Of course within that framework we place before God our needs and the needs of others. But primarily it is a way of entering into the liberative action of God which he is accomplishing through Jesus Christ. It is a form of protest against all forces that thwart the purposes of God and his kingdom. That become the primary focus and not something that is tagged on to our prayer by way of vague intercessions for the needs of the world.
This prayer can be a passionate encounter. When we involve in a situation of oppression we are baffled and frustrated by the force of opposition. The landlord who is a pious Christian becomes the enemy if you are on the side of the landless labourer. The upper caste Christians despise you if you move closely with the Harijans; you will be harassed by the police and government machinery when you try to express your solidarity with the victims of violence. In that situation, prayer, the recalling to yourselves of the presence of God who listens to the cry of the crushed will be reassuring.
Seen in this way the other elements of spirituality meditation, participation in sacraments, worship -- all become a source of strength for the liberative experiences. Eucharist is an anticipation of the new humanity which God creates. The table Fellowship transcends all man-made barriers. In love and sharing a divided humanity is made one.
It is important to realise the material context from which the eucharist has evolved. St. Paul gives the words of institution after a critical appraisal of some of the discriminatory practices on the basis of economic status that prevailed in the church. It is then as a great symbol of sharing, the practice and meaning of eucharist was endorsed. Of course the material context and the human universal reality which it embodies are seen to be forgotten. Instead, like other rituals, it has become a cultic act which reinforces a narrow communal solidarity.
A spirituality of liberation of course, cannot be a theoretical construct. It has to be evolved in mutual practice of solidarity with the poor. A new openness to the cries and aspirations of the marginalised groups alone is the basis of it.
The mission is God’s work as well as our responsibility. What God is offering is fullness of life and our responsibility is the defence of that fullness. Such defence entails conflict and suffering. In our struggles, Jesus is present always beckoning us to the New
1. Gustave Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation (Mary Knoll: Orbis Books, 1973) P. 366
2. Charles C. West, “Reconciliation and World Peace”, in Reconciliation in Today’s World, Ed. By Allen O. Miller (Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969) P. 109
3. Gustavo Gutierrez, The God of Life (Orbis New York 1991), P 208
4. Melbourne Conference Report, Section I (Document No. G. 09. WCC)
5. C. S. Song, the Tears of Lady Ming (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1981), PP 65,66