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Author: David Tombs
David Tombs offers an accessible introduction to the theological challenges raised by Latin American Liberation and a new contribution to how these challenges might be understood as a chronological sequence. Liberation theology emerged in the 1960s in Latin America and thrived until it reached a crisis in the 1990s. This work traces the distinct developments in thought through the decades, thus presenting a contextual theology. The book is divided into five main sections: the historical role of the church from Columbus’s arrival in 1492 until the Cuban revolution of 1959; the reform and renewal decade of the 1960s; the transitional decade of the 1970s; the revision and redirection of liberation theology in the 1980s; and a crisis of relevance in the 1990s. This book offers insights into liberation theology’s profound contributions for any socially engaged theology of the future and is crucial to understanding liberation theology and its legacies.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.
In: A Companion to Public Theology
Author: David Tombs
David Tombs offers an accessible introduction to the theological challenges raised by Latin American Liberation and a new contribution to how these challenges might be understood as a chronological sequence. Liberation theology emerged in the 1960s in Latin America and thrived until it reached a crisis in the 1990s. This work traces the distinct developments in thought through the decades, thus presenting a contextual theology. The book is divided into five main sections: the historical role of the church from Columbus’s arrival in 1492 until the Cuban revolution of 1959; the reform and renewal decade of the 1960s; the transitional decade of the 1970s; the revision and redirection of liberation theology in the 1980s; and a crisis of relevance in the 1990s. This book offers insights into liberation theology’s profound contributions for any socially engaged theology of the future and is crucial to understanding liberation theology and its legacies.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.
In: Understanding Global Higher Education
In: Understanding Global Higher Education

Abstract

The #MeToo hashtag and campaign raises important questions for Christian public theology. In 2017, a church sign at Gustavus Adolphus church in New York City connected Jesus with #MeToo through Jesus’ words ‘You did this to me too’ (Matthew 25:40). This church sign offers appropriate recognition of the theological solidarity of Jesus with #MeToo at a metaphorical level, but this article argues a more direct historical connection should also be made. It examines work by Tombs (1999), Heath (2011), Gafney (2013), and Trainor (2014) that go beyond theological solidarity to identify Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse in a more historical and literal sense. It concludes that naming Jesus as victim of sexual abuse is not just a matter of correcting the historical record but can also help churches to address the damage caused by victim blaming or shaming.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This article presents the findings from qualitative interviews to explore responses to the idea of Jesus as victim of sexual abuse. The seven participants are adult male survivors of prior church sexual abuse, which they experienced as teenagers and young men. The perpetrators were leaders of the Sodalicio society in Peru. The article by Tombs (1999) on naming the torture of Jesus as sexual abuse was discussed, to assess whether participants see this as persuasive, and as meaningful for sexual abuse survivors, and important for the church. The interviews suggest that: (1) naming Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse was new to all participants; (2) most found the historical and biblical evidence to be persuasive; (3) the group were divided on whether this was of value to survivors of church related sexual abuse; (4) all of the group agreed that it was important for the wider church.

Open Access
In: Religion and Gender