January 11, 2022
Teaching Fellow in the Divinity School and the College Raul Zegarra-Medina (PhD’20) has been awarded a 2021 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise from The Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology (FIIT) at The University of Heidelberg. He is working on a book manuscript provisionally entitled “The Revolution of Tradition: A Reinterpretation of Liberation Theology,” which advances an interdisciplinary interpretation of liberation theology that underscores its revolutionary approach to the question of social justice.
"My work studies one of the central areas of human affairs in which our understanding of spirituality is both challenged and enriched: social justice, " says Dr. Zegarra-Medina. "Questions of social justice point to the political arena and to social struggles that may seem foreign to what people often conceive as the spiritual journey. My investigation challenges these preconceptions by focusing on the example of liberation theology. Liberation theologians and lay activists advocate for a more comprehensive approach to the Christian faith, one that includes issues such as fair wages, affordable housing, adequate healthcare, gender equality, among others. In this approach, the critique of systemic injustice and active solidarity with the poor and marginalized are not separate, but rather essential elements of the spiritual journey toward God. My work examines how liberation theology expands—both theoretically and in practice—our understanding of the spiritual life, making central to it the concern for the enhancement of social, political, and economic conditions here and now."