The Niebuhr Legacy



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The Niebuhr Legacy

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Gustavo Gutiérrez

Elmhurst College presented the Niebuhr Medal to an extraordinary servant of humanity, Gustavo Gutiérrez, on September 20, 2009. Learn more about the ceremony that honored Gutiérrez and how his visit inspired the College’s Poverty Project.

Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., is among the world’s most powerful advocates for the poorest of the poor. An internationally renowned theologian, Father Gutierrez is recognized as the first and foremost advocate of Liberation Theology, the social and intellectual movement that calls Christians to stand against the social injustice of material poverty. In the Third World, Liberation Theology is a potent and enduring force in support of economic change and human dignity.

A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, Salvation presents Father Gutiérrez’s concept of Christian poverty as an act of loving solidarity with the poor and as a catalyst for effective action against poverty. It is recognized as a classic text and is required reading for students of theology, history, sociology and social movements. A theological standard for nearly forty years, it is likely to remain in common use into the next century.   

Father Gutiérrez’s creative blend of service, scholarship and social critique places him squarely in the tradition of Reinhold and H. Richard Niebuhr. Like the Niebuhr brothers, Gutiérrez has moved the world and shown “extraordinary service to humanity”—the criterion for the Niebuhr Medal. 



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