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Journal Article


von Sinner R, Westphal ER. Int. J. Public Theol. 2018; 12(1): 38-55.


(Copyright © 2018, Brill Publishing)






According to recent data there has been a considerable increase in lethal violence in Brazil as well as evidence of a growing brutality. Such data bears witness to the wide perception of impunity and the apparent commonality, even an acceptance of killing. The general political and economic insecurity reinforces a sense of abandonment among the population. The affluent hire private security services. The poor, with no alternative option, become victims of crime and drug trafficking wars. The police are often a part of organized crime rather than combatting such. They are understaffed and underequipped. The prison system is unfit to promote resocialization. What can the churches, theology and the state do to establish and foster justice worthy of the name? The purpose of this article is to analyse the situation in Brazil, referring to acclaimed interpreters as historian Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, to ponder possible reasons for violence using the sociological theory of resonance by Hartmut Rosa, and to reflect on a theology of justice that, rather than revenge, emphasises transformation, forgiveness and reconciliation. Through reference to Jürgen Moltmann, it seeks to show how a public theology can contribute to such transformation.

Language: en


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