Law and Liberation Theology A Tract Book By Anthony J. Fejfar © Copyright 2006 by Anthony J.


Liberation Theology is best summed up by the idea that Jesus leads us by coming down off the Cross in a Liberating Action. The Human Jesus refuses to die on the Cross, but instead comes down from the Cross to lead us in Liberation and Social Justice. Although, two of the most influential liberation theologians are Gustavo Gutierrez and Juan Segundo, perhaps the most influential Liberation Theologian is Pedro Arrupe, who led the Jesuit Order in the General Congregations affirming the “Preferential Option for the Poor.” It is within the foregoing tradition, of liberation theology, that I am writing this Tract Book.


Liberation is the key of Liberation Theology. What is Liberation? We can see a eight fold movement of Liberation: 1. Individual Cognitive Liberation 2. Individual Metaphysical Liberation 3. Individual Ethical Liberation 4. Social Liberation Critique of Unjust Social Structures 5. Liberative Social Political Action 6. Liberative Social Norming 7. Liberative Law 8. Liberative Law Enforcement Individual Cognitive Liberation involves the “self appropriation” of one’s mind in a quadrilectical movement of experience, understanding, judgmentreflection, and love. Each of us must experience: experience, understanding, judgment-reflection, and love. Each of us must understand: experience, understanding, judgment-reflection, and love. Each of us must judge and reflect that we know reality through experience, understanding, judment-reflection, and love. Finally, each of us must love, experience, understanding, judgmentreflection, and love. In order to Liberate, we must first experience what is going on. In order to

Liberate, we must each then understand what is going on. In order to Liberate, we must then each know what is going on, through judgment and reflection. Finally, to really act to Liberate we must love. In the final analysis love Liberates. Love is Liberation, more than anything else. Love moves the will to Act when we are afraid to act. The Second Movement of Liberation is Metaphysical Liberation. Metaphysical Liberation involves structuring one’s consciousness with Being, Logos, and Substance. Being is Form of Form, an Unrestricted Pure Act of Understanding. Being is the basis for the Incomprehensible God the Father. Being is the basis for much of our Intuition of Reality. Logos is Creative Form,

Creative Word, or Creative Reason, or Reason itself. Logos is the basis for The Word which is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Finally, Substance is Formless

Form, which paradoxically is a combination of Truth, with a small amount of Form and love. It is the appropriation of Being, Logos, and Substance, that causes Liberation to Flourish. Being Liberates! Logos Liberates! Substance Liberates!


Individual Ethical Liberation is the Third Movement of Liberation. Ethics teaches us what is right or wrong, better or worse, to do, both individually, and socially. There are four basic Natural Law Ethical Principles: 1. Reciprocity 2. Utility 3. Proportionality 4. Equity Reciprocity requires that the individual treat another as that person would like to be treated in similar circumstances. Utility means Maximization of Value. Value implies individual values, and a scale of values. Proportionality is seen best in a one to one ratio. Damages paid should be proportional to damages sustained. Proportionality means equality before the law. Finally, Equity means that Equity

makes an equitable exception from a general rule based upon need. Need is based upon love. Reciprocity Liberates! Utility Liberates! Proportionality Liberates! Equity Liberates! The Fourth Movement of Liberation is the Social Liberation Critique of Unjust Social Structures. Here, experience, understanding, judgment-reflection,

love, Metaphysical Intuition, and Ethics, combine to critique unjust social structures. Rules which are wrong in the face of experience, are impractical and

unjust. Rules which are obtuse or irrational violate substantive due process, and are unjust. Rule which are unwise in their rejection of good judgment or reflection, are unreasonable and unjust. Rules which lack love as their basis, and rather are based upon hate, are unjust. Rules which reject a transcendent Metaphysical basis for Reality are unjust. Rules which are Unethical are unjust. So, rules which do not involve reciprocity, utility, proportionality, and equity, are unjust. The Fifth Movement of Liberation is liberative Social Political Action. Liberation requires social and political action. In order for just laws to be enacted in the first place, social and political action is required. In order for unjust laws to be repealed, social and political action is required. In order for just laws to be enforced, social and political action is required. Just because a just law is on the books, does not necessarily mean that it will be enforced. Liberative Social and Political Action Liberates! Liberative Social Norming is the Sixth Movement of Liberation. As Saint Thomas Aquinas said, Law is to support the common good. Similarly, Liberation must support active Social Norming. Liberative social rules must be taught in

school and at home. Society must reward those who engage in Liberatory consciousness and action, and society must sanction those who oppose Liberatory consciousness and action. This is the natural societal function. Thus children are

taught not to steal as a moral rule long before they are taught this as a legal rule. Liberative Law is the Seventh Movment of Liberation. Just as the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution fought a Revolutionary War of Liberation against King George, so to those who are oppressed in undemocratic, unjust regimes, must also fight. In the case of a democratic, just, or near just society, such as we have in the United States, only democratic, non-violent means of social, political, and legal change, is required. Law Liberates! Liberative Law Enforcement is the Eight Movement of Liberation. Those responsible for the administration of justice, especially, lawyers, legislators, police officers, and judges, are required to Liberate and to be Liberated. Even lay persons are required to stay informed and involved in law enforcement. Law Enforcement must Liberate! All eight movements of Liberation are required for a just society to exist. Both individual as well as societal liberation is required.

Bibliography Fejfar, Jurisprudence for a New Age Lonergan, Insight Lonergan, Method in Theology

Lonergan, Cognitional Structure, in Collection Rawls, A Theory of Justice