Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

A practical theology of liberation: Mimetic theory, liberation theology and practical theology

Joel D. Aguilar Ramírez, Stephan de Beer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 2 | a6165 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i2.6165 | © 2020 Joel D. Aguilar Ramírez, Stephan de Beer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 May 2020 | Published: 12 October 2020

About the author(s)

Joel D. Aguilar Ramírez, Department of Theology, Faculty of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Stephan de Beer, Department of Theology, Faculty of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

In this article, the authors bring two personal journeys together: one author’s liberationist journey, sparked by a search for justice and liberation in the slums of Guatemala City, and the other’s lifelong commitment to practical theology and spatial justice in South Africa. A practical theology of liberation is the result of life experiences in countries of the Global South amidst the search for justice and liberation. The worlds that come together in this article are René Girard’s mimetic theory, liberation theology and practical theology. This article raises the question of the cross-contextuality of practical theology and the theological application of mimetic theory to develop innovative theological methodologies that respond to the collective woundedness of the urban context in the Global South.

Contribution: The main contribution of this article is the use of three seemingly different theological approaches in conjunction. This article opens the door to inform practical theology with René Girard’s mimetic theory and liberation theology.


Keywords

Mimetic theory; Liberation theology; Practical theology; Scapegoating; Violence; Grassroots leaders

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