Salvation, Liberation and Christian Character Formation: Postliberal and Liberation Theologians in Dialogue

David G. Kamitsuka, Oberlin College


This article analyzes North American postliberal theological assessments of Latin American liberationists by focusing on Stanley Hauerwas’s and George Hunsinger’s critical reflections on Gustavo Gutiérrez’s theology. Both conclude that Gutiérrez tends to conflate salvation with socio-political liberation. The author argues that reading Gutiérrez’s theology from a regulative doctrinal perspective (as articulated in George Lindbeck’s The Nature of Doctrine) reveals a doctrinal structure holding salvation and liberation as a unity without confusion. Furthermore the author suggests that there is a mutually beneficial complementarity between Hauerwas and Gutiérrez regarding central aspects of their views on cultivating appropriate Christian character.