Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version


In contemporary Christian usage, actions and lifestyle rooted in emulation of Christ's solidarity with the poor and oppressed. In a broader usage, orthopraxy (right practice) is also basic to Orthodox Judaism and many forms of Islam, as well as Christian (Eastern) Orthodoxy, and refers to the proper performance of religious duties, largely ritual in character.

A cornerstone of more political forms of theology, especially liberation theology, orthopraxy in the former sense combines adherence to Christian principles, as found in the Bible, with an understanding of social injustice and oppression rooted in Marxism. The ultimate goal is to act in favor of the poor through the conversion of both individual practice and unjust social structures. A key mechanism or method may be seen in the principle of "see-judge-act." According to this principle, individuals observe unjust social situations, analyze their root causes, and then act to resolve injustice.

See also Preferential Option for the Poor

W. E. Hewitt

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