Liberation and Love: Concepts in Conversation

Charles L. Kammer

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 7/1/1990

Issue: Church Talk: Slogans and Shibboleths (Vol. 10, No 3, Summer, 1990)

This traditional understanding of Christian love, however, has been severely criticized by many different streams of liberationist thought. These criticisms aresignificant and have taken many forms. Perhaps the most severe criticism involves the claim that this traditional concept of Christian love has actually been a source of the continued oppression of certain groups of persons and that it offers support for the current power relationships that exist between various classes of persons. The notion of love as radical self-denial has been taught to the oppressed as the ideal for their behavior and has become the social norm for measuring their human worth. As such, the concept of self-giving love perpetuates and validates the existence of a class of servants who exist to meet the needs of society’s dominant groups.

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