The Adventure of Living in the Kingdom of God

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Global Health & Liberation Theology

I wanted to share a link to a video of a dialogue between Paul Farmer, MD and Father Gustavo Gutierrez. 

Dr Farmer is one of the most inspiring men I have encountered (though never met) who continually challenges notions of how healthcare should be provided in impoverished settings. In his owns words and the words of the organization he helped found - Partners in Health, he seeks to offer a 'preferential option for the poor.' He is a Harvard-trained physician anthropologist who has spend the majority of his professional career working in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Father Gutierrez is a Dominican priest who has lived in Peru the majority of his life. He is known as the father of 'Liberation Theology,' a perspective seeking to relate the story of Jesus to people living on the outskirts of society. In his words, the fundamental theological question of liberation theology is how to tell someone living in the midst of poverty, social injustice, and oppression that God loves them and favors them.

Both these men came together on the campus of Notre Dame University last year to discuss the commonalities of liberation theology and the pursuit of global health. Though it is a lengthy video, it is well worth the time and will give the person seeking to connect medicine and theology plenty to chew on.

"Re-Imagining Accompaniment: Global Health & Liberation Theology

A few quotes from the discussion to whet your appetite!

- " Understanding poverty as structured evil and understanding how it is perpetuated is not the same as fighting it." - Farmer
- "Theology is a reflection about life, not a religion. Theology must always be in dialogue with the contemporary context and historical conversations." - Fr Gutierrez
- "Poverty is a human issue, not an economic issue." - Fr Gutierrez
- " We live in one world, not three." - Dr Farmer
- " Poverty is not some accident of nature but the result of historically-given, and economically driven forces." - Dr Farmer 

Enjoy! Blessings... 

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