The liberation of the poor from the vicious circle of poverty is different in form from the liberation of the rich from the vicious circle of riches, although both vicious circles are interlinked. (Moltmann, Jurgen. The Crucified God. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1993. pg 52.)
In the work cited above Moltmann points out, quite well, that when we speak of true liberation through Christian theology we are (or should be) speaking of a full liberation. I would like to ride on Moltmann’s coattails a little bit, expanding the idea into my own presentation with the simple idea that true liberation necessarily comes in twos.
If there are the oppressed who need liberation from the state of being oppressed, then there must also be an oppressor, and the latter, too, is in need of liberation. In terms of racism in America, for example, the Black is in need of liberation from White racism. But also, the White is in need of liberation from his own racism. The concept extends to most everything, and might be most easily summarized by saying we all need liberation from victimization; some of us as victims, and some of us as victimizers. As Moltmann puts it, “[The church] exists in the midst of a divided and mutually hostile world of inhuman people on one side and dehumanized people on the other…” Both groups need to be freed, but from quite different, interlinked problems.
I leave most of the connection-making as an exercise for the reader, but this idea fits in more than one way with last night’s post. The need for a personal realization that we all share in the need for liberation from the variously formulated vicious circles ensnaring us is one way it fits. The other way, far more complicated and problematic, rests in our arrogant propensity to try to convince others of the “true” nature of their own, particular vicious circles.