Pastor in the Shadow of Violence : Gustavo Gutiérrez as a Public Pastoral Theologian in Peru in the 1980s and 1990s

University dissertation from Uppsala : Teologiska institutionen

Abstract: This dissertation is a study of the role of Gustavo Gutiérrez as a public pastor in the 1980s and 1990s in Peru. His collaboration with the Lima newspaper La República from the early 1980s gave him a figurative pulpit from which he addressed the Peruvian public on specific occasions. The fundamental question in the dissertation is: How did Gutiérrez respond as pastor to the Peruvian public and how did he express his pastoral concern?The study analyses materials that has not been object for previous studies, such as theological essays and articles in newspapers and periodicals. With inspiration from discourse analysis four discourses have been identified in Gutiérrez’ texts.  These discourses interact and through this interaction Gutiérrez formulates his pastoral message.For the socio-political analysis two political discourses are used, the radical and the liberal. The radical political discourse deals with justice for the poor and liberation from oppression as a condition for peace and harmony in society, which are in focus for the liberal political discourse. With the Catholic theological discourse Gutiérrez sets the socio-political analysis in relation to Catholic doctrine and through the pastoral theological discourse he gives reason for hope and inspiration to action. As an advocate for a theology of life, Gutiérrez urges those who read and listen to him to break the pattern of death and opt for this theology of life. In his role as pastor, Gutiérrez speaks words of comfort and encouragement but also words of admonition and warning to those in power who have the capacity to transform society.

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