Quick Book Review: Ethics – A Liberative Approach

ethicsliberativeapproachTitle: Ethics: A Liberative Approach

Editor: Miguel A. De La Torre

Bibliographic info: 264 pp.

Publisher: Fortress Press, 2013.

Buy the book at Amazon.

With thanks to Fortress Press for the review copy!

This book takes a look at theological ethics defined as liberationist is currently expressed amongst various racial and gender groups. The studies in this volume were written from the perspective of various marginalized groups, each being a different expression of liberation theology (originally a Latin American Catholic manifestation). There are four studies from a global context, four studies from a U.S. racial and ethnic context, and five studies from a U.S. gender, sexual identity, and disability context.

Each study in this book approaches its own subject-matter using the same format. First the author discusses basic tenets of liberative ethics within a specific community, which is followed by explanations for why the liberation from the structure actually exists, followed by the issues and themes that each community deals with, and then notable figures in the movement and the potential for future trends in the movement. Each chapter finishes with study questions and a select bibliography.

The twelve chapters are on the following topics:

  1. Latin American Liberative Ethics
  2. African Liberative Ethics
  3. Asian Liberative Ethics
  4. Economic Liberative Ethics
  5. Hispanic Liberative Ethics
  6. African American Liberative Ethics
  7. Asian American Liberative Ethics
  8. American Indian Liberative Ethics
  9. Feminist Liberative Ethics
  10. Women of Color Liberative Ethics
  11. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Liberative Ethics
  12. Disability Liberative Ethics

As a person born with a lot of privilege –I am white, male, with a good education– I am not one who has to endure any marginalization, ostracization, exploitation, and other forms of oppression in my everyday life. Yet I am aware that there are many –e.g., the poor, persons of color, the LGBT crowd– who do experience these things on a daily basis. As a follower of Christ a part of discipleship is solidarity with those who are marginalized and helping working for liberation amongst the oppressed and the powerless. Yet coming from a position of privilege can make it hard to even realize that you are in a position of privilege, let alone to understand the various struggles that the marginalized and oppressed experience. This book, Ethics: A Liberative Approach, helps in this regard by informing the reader of how various disenfranchised faith traditions have dealt with marginalization, the theologies that have arisen from this and their contribution to the formation of an ethical discourse. A great read!

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