The Movement Toward Mysticism in Gustavo Gutiérrez’s Thought: Is This an Open Door to Pentecostal Dialogue?

In: Pneuma


Over the last few years a distinct shift has occurred within the thought of liberation theology’s most famous proponent, Gustavo Gutiérrez. Specifically, Gutiérrez has ventured into mysticism. With this movement a fascinating question can be posed: Does the incorporation of mysticism open up a door for dialogue with Latin America’s other popular theology, Pentecostalism? Conversely, should Pentecostalism reflexively understand itself historically and theologically as a liberating movement of the poor? Placed together, an emphasis on praxis seems to reveal, at minimum, a common starting point. The methodology of the paper incorporates a detailed historical analysis of Gutiérrez’s position on mysticism and moves to the conclusion that the shift in emphasis opens the door, albeit a small crack, to one of the most exciting opportunities to occur within the history of Christianity: the marriage of Pentecostal spirituality with liberating social action.

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