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The Church and Society Movement and the Roots of Public Theology in Brazilian Protestantism

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AbstractBrazilian Protestantism in its origins tended to develop a kind of pietistic and individualistic spirituality without much concern with the social structures of Brazilian society. Nevertheless, in its historical relation with a reality marked by poverty, social injustice and oppression, some Brazilian Protestants began to develop a sense of social responsibility and social justice, which has been manifest in different ways. This article is an overview of the first attempt from a Protestant viewpoint to develop a public theological discourse in Brazil, during the 1950s and early 1960s. It focuses on the Religion and Society movement, which not only preceded liberation theology in Latin America, but also dialogued with liberationist thought and influenced it, as well as other later public discourses among Catholics and Protestants in Latin America. Richard Shaull was the first significant organic intellectual who mediated the dialogue between European/North American theologies and the Latin American public theology, which was in the making.


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Affiliations: 1: Baptist World Alliance Washington USA, URL:


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