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Chapter 2 captures the intellectual history of twentieth-century Latin America by focusing on two important adjacent movements. Despite their partly shared root and trajectory, these movements occupy contrasting positions in contemporary decolonial scholarship. While acknowledging the historical significance of LALT (Latin American liberation theology) as an authentic Latin American intellectual intervention, decolonial theorists have seldom engaged with LALT. This chapter argues that this omission is likely due to the dominant secularist framework operative in decolonial theory. Discussed here are important common historical trajectories that were shared by both LALT and decolonial theory as seen in works by key Latin American philosophers such as José Carlos Mariátegui and Enrique Dussel, both of whom viewed religion as a powerful tool for decolonial critique and resistance. Overall, the chapter sheds light on the seeds of decolonial thinking and its inseparable connection to religion that existed all along in modern Latin American intellectual traditions.

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