Poverty, Liberation, and Land Reform

Photo Credit: Maria Bedacht

Uprisings of subjected peoples in all corners of the earth lend immediacy to deciding what genuine liberation means. As people address this theme, they tend to emphasize political matters . . . At least equally critical, however, are the ethical and economic underpinnings of liberation. These issues. . . are the grist for this book.

— from the prologue to From Wasteland to Promised Land, the main text for this course.

This course, open to all interested adults, is designed as an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of liberation theology and its relationship to land reform. Key concepts from Henry George’s thought are introduced. It somewhat overlaps, but does not duplicate, our Progress & Poverty and Applied Economics courses.


In addition to the main text, written by Robert Andelson and James Dawsey, we read from Rev. Archer Torrey’s Biblical Economics, showing how the tradition of the “Year of the Jubilee” was a social reality, not just a metaphor. Lindy Davies of the Henry George Institute, who created this course, provides a series of short essays that attempt to reconcile economic terms to spiritual concepts.


This is not a sectarian or dogmatic course. We are not out to proselytize, but to stimulate thought. The goal is to encounter the meaning of liberation theology in a personal way.


Poverty, Liberation and Land Reform is intended as a standalone course, not part of the core program.