Daniel Izuzquiza, Ignacio Ellacuría

Daniel Izuzquiza and Ignacio Ellacuría on the Yes and No

Even within the Hebrew Scriptures, the doctrine of creation is subordinated to the doctrine of redemption, as Gerhard von Rad demonstrated in his 1936 classical and influential article. The doctrine of creation is just an expansion of the concrete experience of liberation. More recently, Stephen Long has proven that, in the area of socio-economic ethics, the consequence of such a move (the priority of creation over incarnation) has been the adoption of the liberal-capitalist dominant view. For these reasons, I want to emphasize the priority fo the incarnation, as a way to embody a real Christian alternative to the prevailing and oppressive system.

Once the need for a ‘politics of the incarnation’ is established, we are in a position to move forward and articulate a proposal that maintains in creative tension two other aspects: the ‘politics of eschatology’ and the ‘politics of creation.’ In political terms, this tension is often referred to as the dialectic between denouncing and announcing. Ignacio Ellacuría formulated the issue with the notions of utopia and prophecy:

The prophecy of denunciation, on the horizon of the Kingdom of God, marks out the ways that lead to utopia. Prophecy’s ‘No,’ prophecy’s negation pointing beyond in itself generates utopia’s ‘Yes’ by virtue of the promise that is the Kingdom of God already present among human beings.

What this text shows is the neef for a Christian proposal that combines the prophetic eschatological ‘not yet’ with the more positive vision of the utopia ‘already’ realized, at least in part, and discovered in our created history.

Daniel Izuzquiza, Rooted in Jesus Christ: Toward a Radical Ecclesiology, 95-96. He is quoting from Ellacuría’s Utopia and Prophecy chapter in Towards a Society That Serves Its People: The Intellectual Contribution of El Salvador’s Murdered Jesuits, 58.


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