Gustavo Gutierrez’s Definition of Poverty

Gustavo Gutierrez’s Definition of Poverty:

“What then does being poor mean? I believe that a good definition does not exist; but we can approximate it if we say that the poor are the non-persons, the ‘in-significant ones,’ the ones that don’t count either for the rest of society, and – far too frequently – for the Christian churches.  For instance, the poor are the ones who have to wait for a week by the door of a hospital to see the physician; the poor are the ones who have no social and economic relevance, the ones disowned by means of unfair laws; the poor are the ones who have no possibility to speak to change their predicament.  The poor are the ones who constitute a despised and culturally marginalized race.  At best, the poor are present in statistics, but they do not appear in society with proper names.  We do not know the name of the poor.  They are and remain anonymous.  The poor ones are socially insignificant, but not so to God.”

-Gustavo Gutierrez Liberation Theologies, Postmodernity, and the Americas, pg. 72

via Gustavo Gutierrez’s Definition of Poverty | The Christian Harvey Blog.

Published by Wess Daniels

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College.

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