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Liberation theology - economics and poverty.

Liberation theology

Rev. Rama Coomaraswamy


Those who adhere to the traditional position are obliged to speak to the problem of destitution prevailing throughout so much of the world. What are its causes? Are there any traditional socioeconomic principles? How do traditional values relate to socialism and liberation theology? And can traditional values offer modem man any realistic solutions to his dilemmas?

From the traditional viewpoint poverty, unlike destitution, is not an evil. Witness to this that, while our Lord healed the lame, gave speech to the dumb and made the blind to see, he never once made a poor man wealthy. Indeed, if we take his words seriously that the poor are blessed and will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven - then poverty is a state to which we should all Empire.

Who then are the poor? According to the spiritual authorities of all the great traditions, they are the pure of heart, those free from attachment to the things of this world. On the economic level this principle is reflected in those who, having adequate food, clothing and shelter, seek not wealth, but are content to live within their station of life. As Eric Gill once said, 'the poor are not those who have been robbed, but those who have not robbed others... poverty is not privation, it is strictly speaking precisely the opposite.' [...]

Part I

Part II

Part III

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