I just got my hands on Jon Sobrino’s new collection of essays No Salvation Outside the Poor: Prophetic-Utopian Essays. I have only read the first chapter, but so far the book is fantastic and appears to be a great place to start reading Sobrino.
Here is the description from the back cover:
The provocative title of these essays plays on a traditional Catholic slogan: “No salvation outside the church.” But as Fr. Sobrino notes, salvation has many dimensions, both personal and social, historical and transcendent. Insofar as it implies God’s response to a world marked by suffering and injustice, then the poor represent an indispensable test, a key to the healing of a sick society. Drawing on the radical hope of Christian faith—the promise of the Kingdom of God and the resurrection of the death—Sobrino presents a bold counter-cultural challenge to a “civilization of wealth” that lives off the blood of the poor. Inspired by the witness of Oscar Romero and Ignacio Ellacuría, and the church’s preferential option for the poor, Sobrino offers these “prophetic-utopian” reflections on faith and the meaning of discipleship in our time.Update: An excerpt regarding the Medellin Conference (1968) and its discovery of the “depth of the poor”:
In my view, [the depth of the poor] was the most important discovery of Medellin and the theology of liberation (which are used here as symbols to mark the place where history spoke up after centuries of silence). That is where a qualitative jump occurred (“God is a God of the poor”), as well as an epistemological break (“God is known through the poor”). In biblical language, there was a kairos. I am surprised how quickly people have come to say that we have gone beyond Medellin, when obviously common sense and the Gospel of John should tell us that “the Spirit will guide you to all truth” (John 16:13). Even more surprising is the almost absolute silence on Medellin by progressive theologians in the affluent countries, who still rightly invoke Vatican II, but often in a reductionist way, invoking it alone; and in a bourgeois way, rightly invoking it to demand their own rights within the Church, but without giving appropriate consideration to Third World poverty (p. 23).