An interpretation of evangelization: Jon Sobrino's Christology and ecclesiology in dialogue

Eileen Mary Fagan, Fordham University


Challenged by the Latin American church's history, the social teaching of the church, the Christian Scripture, and the present social reality, Sobrino's theology has aided this church in understanding its mission in and with the world of the poor. Following a spiral of experiences, questions, and suspicions, Sobrino's theology undertook critical revisions. He saw that Latin America had to first root itself in a liberative christology before it could develop a new ecclesial praxis. Thus, his theological method, which reflects on Christian faith from the perspective of the poor, opened the way for a integral evangelization.^ Sobrino begins his theology of evangelization with the historical Jesus, the man from Nazareth, who lived his mission proclaiming God's reign of life and justice and denouncing the antireign of death and injustice. But this mission also carried consequences: suffering and death. In solidarity with Jesus and all suffering humanity, God entered into the suffering of his Son. The story of the crucified Jesus is also the story of the crucified God and the crucified people. But the cross is not the final word. Jesus' resurrection is God's Word of justice and salvation. Because Jesus' resurrection is an unfinished reality, it can only be completed by a transformative praxis that follows Jesus' road to lordship: the way of the cross.^ For Sobrino, the church of Jesus is one always in the process of conversion as it incarnates itself in the world of the poor and becomes a church of compassion and solidarity. This church keeps present in history the historical Jesus because it makes central what was fundamental in Jesus' life: the reign of God. Through proclaiming God's truth of love, denouncing the sin of injustice, witnessing God's life in Christian living, and practicing God's justice and mercy in an idolatrous world, an authentic evangelization develops. ^

Subject Area

Religion, General|Theology

Recommended Citation

Fagan, Eileen Mary, "An interpretation of evangelization: Jon Sobrino's Christology and ecclesiology in dialogue" (1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9715515.