Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William E. Doll, Jr


From the perspective of those in the underside of history, contemporary education has so stagnated that it has lost its capacity to be a force for social change in a world plagued by social cruelties and injustice. Liberation theologians have shown considerable success in redirecting tightly institutionalized and intellectualized religious communities from their weddedness to imperial notions and practices of faith into one solidly aligned with the struggle of the poor and the marginalized. These theologians of the poor make a distinction between Christianity and Christendom---the former being the vision of a Jewish religious reformer named Yeshua and the latter being the result over the centuries of the imperial co-optation of this vision in the fourth century by Emperor Constantine. By reconceiving faith as engaged solidarity with the oppressed in their work against all forms of oppression, liberation theologians turn faith into a powerful force in the social transformation needed as a condition for the possibility of a genuine love for neighbor. This study heuristically employs the key concepts of liberation theology in liberating curricular and pedagogical notions and practices from their anchorage in individualistic, consumeristic culture and in the military-industrial complex for a landscape of learning and teaching promotive of and conducive to social change. Reconceiving curriculum and instruction as conscientization and shared learning---grounded in the experience of those marginalized and excluded in the knowledge production process---can both reignite education's emancipatory fire and make teaching and learning powerful non-violent forces for social change.