Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Theological Studies PhD

First Advisor

Atilio R. Dupertuis

Second Advisor

Miroslav M. Kis

Third Advisor

Raoul Dederen

Abstract

The proclamation of the Kingdom of God has been reformulated in every age and interpreted accordingly with regard to time and place. Traditionally within Roman Catholicism the Kingdom of God was identified with the church. This view produced a triumphalist attitude within the Roman Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council brought a new attitude of openness toward the modern world, and with it the council opened the door for Roman Catholic liberation theologians to look for new ways to find what they regarded as the just solutions to the problems of Latin America.

The purpose of this research is to examine Gustavo Gutiérrez's understanding of the Kingdom of God in the light of Vatican II's teachings undertakes three tasks. To attain this goal the study First, it describes his understanding of the Kingdom. Second, it analyzes it. Third, it evaluates his understanding against the background of the Roman Catholic position as set forth in the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

After a general overview of the historical and theological development of thought about God's Kingdom within Roman Catholicism, the dissertation focuses on the post-Vatican II developments in Latin American Roman Catholicism. It also investigates Gustavo Gutiérrez as theologian--his life, methodology, and hermeneutics.

Then this study describes and analyzes Gutiérrez's view of the Kingdom of God, and the particular trends that may have influenced him, both regarding content and methodology. Attention is given to the way his view of God's Kingdom functions in his theology. It also includes the concept of the Kingdom of God as portrayed in the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

Gutiérrez adds the meaning of liberation to the concept of the Kingdom of God. However, this concept loses much of its impact on modern Roman Catholic theology mainly because of its sociopolitical emphasis. Though social sciences can be a helpful tool for understanding the social condition in Latin America, they can never be the foundation of Christian faith and practice as suggested by Gutiérrez.

Furthermore, Gutiérrez fails to acknowledge that the root of Latin American problems is to be found within human beings themselves. From their very birth, men and women, regardless their sociopolitical condition, have an innate predisposition to evil. One wonders, then, whether human beings in their sinful condition are able to build a less sinful society.

Finally, the dissertation evaluates Gutiérrez's understanding of the Kingdom in the light of Vatican II's teachings on the issue. The final conclusions are presented as well.

Subject Area

Kingdom of God--History of doctrines--20th century, Gutiérrez, Gustavo, 1928- --Views on kingdom of God

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