The Suppression of Liberation Theology: A History of a Changing Peru, 1968-1988
This thesis creates and captures a twenty year history of the suppression liberation theology in Latin America. This suppression was aimed at Gustavo Gutierrez, one of the founders of liberation theology, and was lead by the conservative elements of both the Conservative hierarchy of the Latin American Church and the Papacy from 1968 to 1988. Liberation theology is a Catholic theological tendency which aimed to improve the temporal and spiritual reality of Latin America in the face of economic and social inequality, oppression by the military governments of Latin America, and a shift towards evangelicalism in Latin America. This thesis argues that liberation theology reached its apex in 1968 at the Medellin Conference held in Colombia, but this apex was also the beginning of the opposition that would ferment itself and gear itself to challenge liberation theology in the coming twenty year period. This charge was lead by conservatives of the Church and the theology would be a contentious topic to discuss at the Synod of Bishops in 1974 and the Puebla Conference in 1979. This thesis captures the intense debate between liberationists and conservatives and ultimately concludes that liberation theology was suppressed by the Catholic Church due to its emphasis on trying to improve the temporal condition and reality of the Latin American poor -- a deeply radical and contentious idea in unequal, hierarchical societies in Peru and Latin America.