Date of Award

5-19-2013

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Religion

First Advisor

Theodore Pulcini

Language

English

Abstract

Palestinian Liberation Theology (PLT), a movement founded by Naim Ateek in Jerusalem in 1989, strives for peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. It developed as a religious response to a cultural and political problem in Israel-Palestine, largely as a means of addressing issues arising from the treatment of Palestinians by Israel.

Because of its name, PLT is often directly associated with Latin American liberation theology, which developed as an application of social principles sanctioned by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), often in combination with Marxist ideology. This connection is unfounded; PLT’s distinctive characteristics make it stand quite apart from its Latin American counterpart.

This thesis systematically examines these characteristics and then gives due attention to the criticisms that have been leveled against them by various individuals and groups. It will conclude with a discussion of how PLT, in light of these criticisms, might be reconfigured to enable it to reach its intended audiences and achieve its goals more effectively.

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