Concilium 2018-3. Sabiduría y teología del pueblo

Concilium 2018-3. Sabiduría y teología del pueblo

Editado por: Carlos Mendoza Álvarez y Po-Ho Huang

Las traducciones completas de esta edición están disponibles en los siguientes idiomas:
English: Wisdom and People’s Theology
Español: Sabiduría y teología del pueblo
Deutsch: Weisheit der Völker – Theologie des Volkes
Italiano: Sapienza e teologia del popolo
Português: Sabedoria e teologia do povo


More than half a century ago, the Second Vatican Council carried out a tremendous pastoral change, which had an epistemological impact on the meaning of the universal Church. It was an upgrade (aggiornamento) that promoted, in the local churches, a process of listening to the signs of the times to scrutinize the passage of God through history, with the inculturation of the Word of God that makes it possible. It also acknowledged the protagonism of the Christian communities located in the peripheries of the world. In sum, it was a complete project of ecclesiological renewal -some will say of reform- that has not yet finished.

In fact, due to Lumen Gentium’s vision of the centrality of the people of God and the prophetic impulse of Gaudium et Spes – two innovative constitutions of the new ecclesiological paradigm – Roman Catholicism has started a dialogue with other cultures, rationalities and ways of life, and has tried to go beyond the colonial vision of Christianity with his apologetic accent that has prevailed since Modernity (from the sixteenth century Movement of Counter-Reformation to the nineteenth-century crisis of Modernism).

In this sense, the wisdom of the peoples began to be taken into account by the Churches of Latin America, Asia and Africa. Such wisdom is not only like a seed of the Word but rather a genuine mitasgogical experience that receives the divine revelation with fecundity an creativity and finds new meanings to the radicality of Jesus of Nazareth, confessed as the Messiah and the Son of God by the Church. Thus, in the fertile context of cultural pluralism, recognized as an inalienable postulate to achieve the universality of the Christian faith, the contextual condition of all theology -including the European one that ceased to be the hegemonic theology with higher rank than the others- meant a step forward in the gestation of the catholicity of faith in the God of life and in the primacy of the Kingdom of God announced by the Nazarene and consummated by the Holy Spirit who animates the new creation.

The theologies of the people that have flourished in the second half of the twentieth century -from the theology of liberation in Latin America and the Caribbean to Dalit theology in India, through many other expressions of the centrality of the world’s poor- face now to the challenge of mutual recognition in their option for the excluded and for the victims of global violence. But these theologies also need to debate their differences of interlocutors, theoretical mediations and socio-cultural, political and pastoral options, which are manifested by the life of Christian communities in resistance to the suffering, violence and historical evil of our time.

This issue of Concilium -faithful to the spirit of the journal that was born precisely from the conciliar spirit- is dedicated to listening to those voices of wisdom and theologies of the people that arise in the global village. These theologies are born in times of uncertainty due to the growth of violence generated by the globalized capitalism, with the complicity of patriarchy and colonialism -external and internal- that are based on a sacrificial understanding of history, and that makes the disposable of the world invisible for the logic of efficiency and pragmatism, therefore immolating their lives for the sake of progress and wealth. But theologies born, above all, from the hope of the peoples in the midst of so much pain become true prophetic acts of resistance to the sin of the world, and as acts of eschatological imagination that comes from the wounds of the Crucified One and the crucified people of this world.

The reflections of Serena Noceti, Nancy Pineda-Madrid, Cesar Kuzma and Luiz Carlos Susin offer us the fresh theological panorama of what today is understood by “people”, especially in times of ecclesial renewal promoted by Pope Francis’ ministry, fifty years later the Second Vatican Council. These perspectives show us the different faces of exclusion where people and Christians communities live the grace that comes from the Crucified One who has risen.

The theological reflections of Michael Amaladoss, Rafael Luciani, Wati Lonchar and Margot Bremer offer an inspiring conversation since they think from the people according to the indigenous or urban cosmovisions and socio-cultural ethos. In other words these reflections emerge from the margins of the history of domination, assuming vulnerability and non-power as theological places that subvert all attempts at domination and sacrifice of the weak.

As a concrete expression of these wisdoms and theologies of the people described here, the Forum presents three testimonies of Christian communities that want “walk with the victims of global violence”: the case of the Philippians disinherited from their land described by Karl Gaspar, the case of immigrants in the United States according to the testimony of the Lutheran Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke, and the case of the victims of ideological violence in Sri Lanka, as Marlene Perera tells us, to recover the role of the communities of interest at their service.

The wisdoms and theologies of the people are at the center of the life of the Church, as well as at the heart of critical reflection in times of global violence. We hope that these contributions -born from the pastoral practice altogether with critical thinking- will be a source of innovation for Christian theological thinking from different latitudes, with the only urgency to receive and think about the presence of God in history as a gift of universal love, whose urgent call for personal and community conversion inspire us to participate in the same mission of the Word that is incarnated so “that the world may have life and life in abundance” (Jn 10.10). 



1. ¿Quién es el «pueblo»?

Serena Noceti – Popolo di Dio: un incompiuto riconoscimento (di identità)

Nancy Pineda-Madrid – In Light of the People: Theologizing in Our Time

Cesar Kuzma – Missão e identidade do Povo de Deus: uma Igreja em saída e chamada ao Reino

Luiz Carlos Susin – O Povo Cordeiro de Deu

2. Una conversación con la filosofía en la era del colonialismo

Raúl Fornet-Betancourt – Interculturalidad y “pueblo”. Para continuar la conversación con la teología latinoamericana de la liberación

3. Perspectivas teológicas sobre la sabiduría y la teología del ser humano

Michael Amaladoss – Peoples’ Theology in multireligious communities

Rafael Luciani – La centralidad del pueblo en la teología sociocultural del Papa Francisco

Wati Longchar – Power and powerlessness: Engaging marginalized peoples in mission

Margot Bremer  ¿Inventar o descubrir el Orden de nuestro Mundo? Lectura de un texto  bíblico desde una cosmovisión indígena

4. Foro teológico: Los ministerios y las víctimas de la violencia global

Karl M. Gaspar – Tapping into indigenous wellsprings: pastoral responses to the people who are victims of global violence

Dave Brauer-Rieke – Walking with

Marlene Perera – Inter-faith communion for life fostering culture


Serena Noceti – « Popolo di Dio: un incompiuto riconoscimento (di identità) » : La categoria, a un tempo sociologica e teologica, di “popolo di Dio” è stata scelta dal Vaticano II per esprimere la forma fondamentale di chiesa, la storicità del soggetto collettivo “chiesa”, la sua missione e carattere escatologico. Dalla metà degli anni ’80 si assiste a un declino della categoria e alla sua quasi totale scomparsa, con la sola eccezione delle teologie latinoamericane della liberazione e di pochi teologi europei e nord-americano. L’A. illustra le critiche sollevate davanti a un uso acritico della categoria da tre documenti magisteriali, pubblicati tra il 1984-85: “sociologismo privo di riferimento al mistero”; possibili “esiti nazionalistici”; abbandono del significato inclusivo dell’espressione con l’identificazione di “popolo” e “poveri” e con il ricorso all’idea marxista di lotta di classe nel pensare le dinamiche di realizzazione della missione storica e le relazioni intraecclesiali. Vengono, infine, presentati i motivi di una ripresa necessaria  e urgente di questa visione ecclesiologica, in ordine alla realizzazione delle riforme ecclesiali auspicate da molti.

Nancy Pineda Madrid – « In Light of the People: Theologizing in Our Time » : This essay asks:  On behalf of whom do we theologize?  If our theologizing is to serve the coming reign of God, and if oppressed people hold a privileged place among the people of God, then, theologians must consider again who are the most exploited and despised among human beings and must heed M. Shawn Copeland’s prescient turning the subject.

Cesar Kuzma – « Missão e identidade do Povo de Deus: uma Igreja em saída e chamada ao Reino » : A atualidade das questões eclesiológicas que são suscitadas por aquilo que percebemos e acolhemos do Papa Francisco nos levam à compreensão da Igreja, de sua missão e identidade, na perspectiva de saída e no chamado ao Reino de Deus. É Deus que nos chama e nos aponta um novo horizonte, ao mesmo tempo em que nos convida à construção de uma nova realidade, a qual a saída exige mudanças de posturas, uma abertura ao novo que nos é oferecido livremente. Esta Igreja que nasce de Cristo e é mistério que nos aponta a salvação, é também Povo de Deus, e como Povo, caminha peregrina, na história, rumo ao Reino definitivo. É, portanto, uma missão de todos. O artigo que apresentamos se divide em três partes. De início, procura refletir sobre as urgências e exigências atuais, situações e condições onde se pode ouvir o chamado para a nossa missão. Apresentaremos algumas destas questões para, na sequência, destacar alguns acentos da eclesiologia do Povo de Deus, ponto marcante do Vaticano II e que Francisco resgata em sua práxis eclesial. Seguimos até a parte dos leigos, um ponto que tem sido bastante evidenciado atualmente e que merece uma nova reflexão, no desafio de romper com uma estrutura clericalizante que impede o exercício de sua missão. Nossa intenção é oferecer uma reflexão breve, que interpele e lance algumas questões. 

Luis Carlos Susin – « O Povo Cordeiro de Deus » : Este ensaio parte do título messiânico “Cordeiro de Deus” atribuído desde o Novo Testamento a Jesus, e, com o auxílio da antropologia de René Girard, associa o “povo crucificado”, segundo a reflexão de Ignacio Ellacuría, ao título de “Cordeiro de Deus”, compreendendo assim o axioma desenvolvido por Jon Sobrino: “Fora dos pobres não há salvação”. Não se trata de um deslocamento mas de um alargamento e aprofundamento histórico da soteriologia cristã.

Raúl Fornet-Betancourt – « Interculturalidad y “pueblo”. Para continuar la conversación con la teología latinoamericana de la liberación » : Sobre el telón de fondo del contraste entre la situación espiritual actual, que muchos califica de “posmoderna”, y la situación espiritual de la época en que emergió la “teología del pueblo”, marcada por el impulso (¿moderno?) del protagonismo del pueblo como protagonista de historia, el presente artículo propone un camino de “conversación” en el que, asumiendo el desafío de la disparidad de espíritu y de tiempo, se muestra que el diálogo no es sólo posible sino incluso necesario para pensar y actuarcon más intesidad en nuestra época. Ese camino se ilustra en base al diálogo que ha mantenido y mantiene la filosofía intercultural con dicha tradición de la teología del pueblo y de la liberación en general.

Michael Amaladoss – « Peoples’ Theology in multireligious communities » : At the Second Vatican Council, though the idea of the ‘People of God’ emerged in contrast to the Hierarchy in the Church, it is extended discreetly to all Peoples, focusing on conscience as God’s voice and on the active presence of the Spirit in each human. This is further confirmed by John Paul II. The Peoples of all religions are then perceived as co-pilgrims to the Kingdom of God. They have a wisdom that is more cultural than religious and so can become inter-religious and animate the People in their march towards the Kingdom of God.

Rafael Luciani – « La centralidad del pueblo en la teología sociocultural del Papa Francisco » : La recepción conciliar que hace el Papa Francisco se enmarca dentro de una teología sociocultural que nace de la eclesiología del Pueblo de Dios. Se propone a una Iglesia que se inserte y viva en medio de los pueblos de este mundo y sus culturas. En este sentido, exponemos, brevemente, tres nociones del magisterio de Francisco que contribuyen a la comprensión de esta nueva recepción del Concilio: la Iglesia en salida, la conversión pastoral permanente y el reencuentro pastoral con el sentido de la fe del pueblo. Iremos destacando algunas de las principales fuentes de esta eclesiología misionera de Francisco destacando la soteriología histórica y relacional que se manifiesta en el compromiso fiel de la Iglesia por construir un mundo de inclusión y justicia, en consonancia con los valores del Reino.

Wati Longchar – « Power and powerlessness. Engaging marginalized peoples in mission » : Applying “Margin”, as a critical theological principle, the author has argued that theology is no longer seen from the centre of power to  powerless, but from the powerless to power. Powerlessness is not to be seen as weakness but divine locus because the revelation of God took place outside of power structure. The Biblical testimonies and contemporary experiences of people in the margins show that God is already there among the margins and we cannot define God from the centre and import it to the people in the margins, rather we need to discern how God is at work among the margins.

Margot Bremer – « ¿Inventar o descubrir el Orden de nuestro Mundo? Lectura de un texto bíblico desde una cosmovisión indígena » : Frente a la amenaza de un “nuevo orden mundial”, planificado por una oligarquía empresarial multinacional, que está amenazando nuestra vida, surge la pregunta sí nuestro planeta no está habitado ya por un orden al que hay que seguir. Con la lectura de Gen 1,1-2,4ª desde una de las cosmovisiones indígenas de NuestraAmérica, se intenta profundizar en esa probabilidad. Leer el texto desde la visión holística guaraní, abre una nueva perspectiva de comprensión que deja vislumbrar un orden innato al mundo. En la visión indígena, el ser humano es comprendido como parte y no centro del cosmos y la Vida como interrelación de todos los seres vivientes en convergencia hacia la unión. Una decolonización de esta visión antropocéntrica y eurocéntrica liberaría para una colaboración en la re-instalación de ese orden de creación descubierto, comenzando desde sus raíces, desde la periferia: desde el caos del “Nuevo orden” impuesto.

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