Liberating Faith and the Journey of Inconclusion: A Close Reading of Paulo Freire’s Essay “My Faith and Hope”


  • Lionnell Smith The University of Memphis


In this essay, I offer a close reading of Paulo Freire’s essay “My Faith and Hope” in which he theorizes a liberating faith. I condense Freire’s thoughts about faith, spirituality, and theology into ­­­­three major themes or arguments. First, I argue that Freire’s liberating faith involves the complexity of becoming unsettled which empowers one to divorce silence for a holy rebelliousness against injustice. Second, I argue that Freire’s liberating faith encompasses the challenge of being in faith which is a process in which one commits to being actively engaged in the struggle to free the oppressed. Finally, I argue that Freire’s liberating faith is comprised of the courage to battle through hope which Freire describes as a permanent search, process or journey toward liberation or freedom —that is, the journey of inconclusion. Finally, I discuss the implications that Freire’s view of a liberating faith has on racial equity in education.