“Notes on a Maya Apocalypse: Eschatology in the Guatemalan Civil War,” by Eric Hoenes del Pinal

The second half of the Twentieth Century saw much of Latin America undergoing intense periods of political instability and violence resulting in major social and political changes. Responding both to this uncertain political climate and the call to openness initiated by the Second Vatican Council, several theological movements began to take shape within Latin American Catholicism that sought to re-imagine the present and future of the Catholic Church. Critical to these projects was a re-figuration of salvation history that could better account for the social and political inequalities faced by many Latin American Catholics and that could respond to the immediate needs of marginalized peoples. This paper examines how Liberation Theology can be said to have proposed an eschatology that was responsive to social and cultural experiences of marginalized groups in Latin America and explores the legacy of this movement in the light of the extreme violence of the Guatemalan Civil War.

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