Environmental Philosophy

Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2006

Stephen B. Scharper
Pages 47-69

Liberation Theology’s Critique of the Developmentalist Worldview
Implications for Religious Environmental Engagement

As the world’s religious communities become more involved in environmental concerns, the question arises as to whether their most significant contributions are in the realm of worldviews, doctrine, and cosmology, or rather in the realm of political and economic critique and an articulation of social justice concerns arising from ecological despoliation. After reviewing liberation theology’s early critique of economic developmentalism, as well as its more recent treatment of ecological concerns, this paper suggests that liberation theology is in fact positing a cosmological as well as political and economic critique of modernity, which proffers conduits of dialogue with other environmental approaches.