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Fig 6.22 – “Social Sin”

Text: Page 253

Gregory Baum, a renowned Catholic theologian, provided social justice documents to the Vatican Ecumenical Council in the 1960s. He embraced teachings of the Frankfurt School of Social Research which resulted in his support of Liberation Theology. This theology emphasized social concern for the poor and the political liberation of oppressed peoples throughout the world. He viewed the lack of acknowledgment of the poor and the unseen as a “social sin,” being a collective blindness that resides within a community of people who oppress human beings, violates human dignity, stifles freedom, and imposes great inequality. Hands over the eyes provides a stark symbol of the “social sin” of the failed deinstitutionalization and the continued neglect by society for the care of individuals with mental illness.

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