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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. This is the book for anybody inspired by the Salvadorean martyrs and looking to understand the unique way in which the Spirit used Ellacuria and all of his gifts for the good of all humanity! Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book? Click here Would you like to report this content as inappropriate?

Ignacio Ellacuría - Wikipedia

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Ground Beneath the Cross: The Theology of Ignacio Ellacuria really liked it 4. This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the thought of Ignacio Ellacuria, the Jesuit philosopher-theologian martyred for his work on behalf of Latin America's oppressed peoples. While serving as president of the Jesuit-run University of Central America in the midst of El Salvador's brutal civil war, Ellacuria was also a prolific writer.

His advocacy on behalf of th This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the thought of Ignacio Ellacuria, the Jesuit philosopher-theologian martyred for his work on behalf of Latin America's oppressed peoples. His advocacy on behalf of the country's persecuted majority provoked the enmity of the Salvadoran political establishment. On November 16, , members of the Salvadoran military entered the university's campus and murdered Ellacuria, along with five other Jesuit priests and two women.

Burke, SJ, shows why Ellacuria is significant not only as a martyr but also as a theologian. Ellacuria effectively integrated philosophy, history, anthropology, and sociopolitical analysis into his theological reflections on salvation, spirituality, and the church to create an original contribution to liberation theology.

Ellacuria's writings directly address one of the most vexing issues in theology today: Burke explains how Ellacuria bases theology in a philosophy of historical reality--the "ground beneath the cross"--and interprets the suffering of "the crucified peoples" in the light of Jesus' crucifixion.

Ellacuria thus inserts the theological realities of salvation and transcendence squarely within the course of human events, and he connects these to the Christian mandate to "take the crucified peoples down from their crosses. Paperback , pages. The Ground Beneath The Cross: Metaphysics studies reality and ontology studies being. Human beings ' way of accessing reality is intelligence, not a logified one, but a "sentient intelligence" that is itself a part of reality.

The senses, logic , reason , intuition and imagination are one and the same faculty , because each of these things determine one another. This faculty differences human beings from other species and has been achieved through evolution. Having a sentient intelligence implies having a conscience and the possibility to imagine new realities. These formulations are in themselves real by postulation. Realities by postulation can also be realised in other forms, because sentient intelligence has the ability to recognise the processual and structural character of reality. Therefore, human beings are able to influence it, and create and transcend the historical boundaries that have been reached.

It is both, but not in the sense critical realism pretends where human beings are seen as a reality that can be separated from an objective outer reality. For Zubiri, human beings are imbedded in reality and cannot exist without it. They need air , food , water and other beings. The "outer" and objective world must also come inside human beings for them to continue existing. Sentient intelligence should be able to make sense of this existence in a way that allows human beings to realise their capabilities in the world.

Biology and society are elements of history, which means that they are always in movement. But this should not be confused with historical materialism that says human beings are passive instruments of the forces of history. Human beings certainly inherit constraints constructed in the past but they always have the possibility to transcend them because of their sentient intelligence.


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Unlike other animals that can only respond mechanically to stimuli from outside, through sentient intelligence and praxis, human beings have to "realise" their existence. Individuals in dialectic interaction with society, have to make out what sort of Ego to have, by using their sentient intelligence, and this implies transcending inherited constraints.

This means that progress in reality happens through a combination of physical, biological and "praxical" factors. Through praxis, human beings are able to realise a wider range of possibilities for action. In other words, one praxis can lead to a wider and more complete form of praxis.

When this is so, praxis can be said to contribute to increase liberty, if liberty is defined as greater possibilities for action. This situation has prevented these excluded people to realise their existence as human beings.

Ignacio Ellacuría

Therefore, it is a situation that stands away from the fullness of humanity and the fullness of reality. But this situation can be changed. But since the development of human beings, praxis can also contribute to realise historical reality. Since human beings have the possibility to reflect, it is philosophy's duty to exercise this ability to reflect, in order to change reality, and allow greater possibilities for individual realisation.

This way of thinking finds its parallels in the s in Martha Nussbaum 's definition of human development as the increase in human capabilities for action [7] and Amartya Sen 's notion of development as freedom. From the following references [9] [10] [11] [12].

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Methodologically, his view of history followed the Hegelian dialectic tradition, that culminated in Marx 's historical materialism. However, in terms of content, he was also critical to Hegel's eurocentric view of history. He stressed the importance of conscience , human praxis and its possibilities for influencing the course of history, and thereby material conditions themselves.

He has been unfairly accused of trying to contaminate theology with Marxism , but the methodological similarities of his thought with Marxism stem from a common Hegelian view of history as progress brought about by overcoming contradictions. Some, as Enrique Dussel , would claim that the similarities between liberation theology and Marx's thought not to be confused with mainstream interpretations of it go even beyond that.

And they are to be found in more profound common origins of the narrative of liberation in the Judeo-Christian tradition of thought, which Marx also shares. According to him, all theology is conditioned by its historical present. Historical theology intends to acquire conscience about its historical context and to incorporate it fully. The concept of locus theologicus theologogical place is very important in this theology.

Rudolf Bultmann developed existential biblical hermeneutics , or the idea that each individual can only read and understand the bible from his or her personal existential condition, and the biblical text acquires life only if it can awaken an experience of faith in the reader. This generates a hermeneutical circle , since the reader understands the Bible from his historical present and the historical present from the Bible. This means that community faith comes first, and then individual faith.


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The New Testament makes the community character of faith from the Old Testament something radical and universal.