University of Iowa
In his book, Suspicion and Faith, Christian philosopher Merold Westphal presents the project of using the hermeneutics of suspicion often used against Christianity by its enemiesas a kind of Lenten exercise for Christians to purify themselves. This article applies Merold Westphals philosophical terminology to the thought of twentieth-century theologians Reinhold Niebuhr (an American Protestant and the father of Christian Realism) and Gustavo Gutiérrez (a South American Catholic and the father of Liberation Theology). Each of these theologians present suspicious interpretations of particular manifestations of the Christian faith in service of the Christian faith. This article outlines both their criticisms of the church insofar as it is complicit with social injustice (using Westphals organizing categories) and their suggestions for strategies of resistance.
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