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Frei Betto

The Political-Pastoral Work of a Dominican Friar in Brazil and Beyond

In the Series
The Portuguese-Speaking World: Its History, Politics and Culture

Américo Oscar Guichard Freire, associate professor and researcher at the Center for Research and Documentation of Contemporary History of Brazil (CPDOC) of the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

Evanize Martins Sydow, author of the biography of Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns and curator of the exhibition “Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns ,95 Years.” Dr Sydow also coordinates a project on solidarity networks during military dictatorships in Latin America (Caritas Brasileira).

The Biography includes a Preface by Cuban Commander Fidel Castro

Frei Bettoo’s roles as a revolutionary Christian, popular educator, social movement articulator, and journalist/writer provide insight into the political and religious history not only of Brazil, but of Cuba and former socialist countries of Eastern Europe. His lifepath is one of engagement with the revolutionary struggle against the Brazilian military dictatorship in favor of social transformation. His arrest in 1969 for coordinating the safe departure of political militants from Brazil, and his concern to eliminate hunger and suffering from the poorer classes, were strong credentials as he promoted dialogue between political bodies, the religious establishment and the population at large.

Strongly influenced by the propositions of Liberation Theology, a defining thread of its activities was to seek an understanding, an accommodation, between Christianity and socialism. Friar Betto maintained close relations with former Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolutionary government, and wrote about how the internal dynamics of the Cuban religious universe could be applied to other countries and to different political circumstances. His writings on socialist countries, especially Paradise Lost, are aimed at promoting understanding on several levels: between the Church and the communists; between the military and politicians; between religious leaders and the people.

Frei Betto’s biography is an invitation to understand five decades of a personal pursuit of revolutionary ideals through the prism of religious tolerance and the pursuit of socialism. The Portuguese edition was a finalist in the biography section of Jabuti – the prestigious national literary prize granted by the Brazilian Book Chamber (CBL).

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-050-7
Hardback Price: £85.00 / $110.00
Release Date: June 2020
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-051-4
Paperback Price: £40.00 / $49.95
Release Date: June 2020
Page Extent / Format: 340 pp. 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: No


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