The context and subsequent development of Liberation Theology can be explained in terms of three moments:
The meeting of the Jesuit principles in May 1968
The meeting of the Latin American bishops’conference, CELAM II, in August 1968.
The publication of Gustavo Gutierrez’ ‘Towards a Theology of Liberation’ in July 1968.
David Tombs views the meeting of the Jesuit provincials withPedro Arrupe in May 1968 as a defining moment in theprogress towards defining a theological movement. It wasdue to some Latin American Jesuits, like Jon Sobrino,
thatsocial justice was to become the theme of the Jesuit GeneralCongregation. The activity of CIAS (Centro de Investigacion yde Accion Social), accompanied by strong support of theGeneral, moved the Jesuits towards articulating “the primaryimportance of the problem of social justice.”
The Jesuits hadinstigated an institutional change within their organisationwhich entailed moving from private theory to public praxis. This gained a great amount of support and approval from thewider Latin American Church, and it planted ideas in their
These three moments were articulated by David Tombs in an unpublished paperpresented to the conference ‘Liberation Theology: Moment or Movement’ at theMilltown Institute of Theology, 3
Although born in Spain his ministry was concentrated in Latin America.
Pedro Arupe, Address to Jesuit Congregation