For 22 years he was the professor of Systematic and Ecumenical Theology at the Franciscan Theological Institute in Petrópolis. He has served as a professor of Theology and Spirituality in various centers of higher learning and universities in Brazil and the rest of the world, in addition to being a visiting professor at the universities of Lisbon (Portugal), Salamanca (Spain), Harvard (United States), Basel (Switzerland), and Heidelberg (Germany).
He was present in the first reflections that sought to articulate indignance toward misery and marginalization with discourse, which later generated the Christian faith known as Liberation Theology. He has always been an ardent of the Human Rights cause, helping to formulate a new, Latin American perspective on Human Rights with, “Rights to Life and the ways to maintain them with dignity.”
He has received honorary doctorates, in Politics from the University of Turin (Italy) and in Theology for the University of Lund (Sweden). He has also been honored with various awards, within Brazil and the rest of the world, for his struggles on behalf of the weak, the oppressed and marginalized, and Human Rights.
From 1970 until 1985 he participated in the editorial council of Editora Vozes. During this time he participated in the coordination and publication of the collection, “Theology and Liberation” and the entire edition of the works of C. G. Jung. He was Editor-in-chief of “Revista Eclesiástica Brasileira” from 1970 to 1984, of “Revista de Cultura Vozes” from 1984 to 1992, and of “Revista Internacional Concilium” from 1970 to 1995.
In 1984, he was submitted to a process by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, former Holy Office, in the Vatican. This was due to his theses linked to liberation theology exposed in his book "Church: Charism and Power. In 1985 he was condemned to “obsequious silence” and was removed from his editorial functions and suspended from religious duties. Due to international pressure on the Vatican, the decision was repealed in 1986, allowing him to return to some of his previous activities.
In 1992, under renewed threats of a second punitive action by authorities in Rome, he renounced his activities as a priest and ‘promoted himself the state of laity.’ “I changed trenches to continue the same fight.” He continues as a liberation theologian, writer, professor, widely hear conference speaker in Brazil among other countries, also as an adviser of social movements of liberating popular matrix, as the Landless Movement and the Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs), between others.
In 1993 he was selected as professor of Ethics, Philosophy of Religion and Ecology at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).
On December 8, 2001 he was honored with the alternative Nobel prize, “Right Livelihood Award” in Stockholm, Sweden.
He presently lives in Jardim Araras, an ecological wilderness area on the municipality of Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro. He shares his life and dreams with the defender/educator of Human Rights from a new ecological paradigm, Marcia Maria Monteiro de Miranda. He has also become the “father by affinity” of a daughter and five sons, sharing the joys and sorrows of responsible parenthood. He lives, accompanies and recreates the unfolding of life in the “grandkids” Marina, Eduardo and Maira.
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