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Tools for Salvation

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Poverty and oppression are elements of society that have persisted through different vehicles of power and dominance. In the contemporary situation, we suffer from forms of hierarchy that are not wholly new, as we exist in a global society that utilizes classical theological frameworks that perpetuate the subjugation of certain groups of people. Theologians have crafted theories and concepts to address these conditions, however, these concepts seem incomplete or contradictory in completing the task on their own. By combining some of these frameworks with concepts from critical theorists, we can generate stronger and more holistic models that address the conditions of oppression and poverty through critique and the formulation of alternatives that address the roots of colonial ways of thinking that continue to reign over the modern world. More specifically, the theological frameworks presented by Gustavo Gutiérrez, centered around sin and grace, can be corrected by the integration of Ivone Gebara’s concept of relatedness, Houria Bouteldja’s theory of dignity, and Audre Lorde’s theory of eroticism. A framework drawing on these diverse thinkers can effectively respond to classical frameworks that end up justifying the oppression of marginalized peoples. Synthesizing these frameworks can offer a perspective that can concretely and realistically offer a vision of what Christian theologians have typically called “salvation.”