Gustavo Gutierrez is a Dominican priest and Latin American scholar best known as the father of liberation theology and the idea of the preferential option for the poor. Daniel Groody, a Holy Cross priest and theology professor, has selected the essays and written the introduction to this volume in Orbis Books' Modern Spiritual Masters Series.
Born in 1928 in Lima, Peru, Gutierrez was confined to bed from age 12 to 18 with an illness which led to his home schooling. He was an avid reader and because of his debilitation was very sensitive to the suffering of others. Gutierrez attended seminary and amplified his theological studies in three European universities.
Whereas his peers were content to keep theology separate from social action and a critique of the structures and institutions responsible for poverty and injustice, Gutierrez immersed himself in exploring a way to engage with what he saw around him. He came to know that poverty is a subhuman condition and an injustice that must be eradicated. Solidarity with the poor is not optional for followers of Jesus.
This collection of Gutierrez' writings is divided into sections on The Gift of Life: Meeting Jesus Christ; The Eyes of Faith; Understanding God's Mercy; and The Challenge of the Kingdom: Living in the Spirit. The author also has important things to say about the unity of gratuity and justice, human and salvation history, contemplation and action, the universality of God's love, and the preferential option for the poor.