Guatemala City is a city of contrasts, a city that meshes beauty and affliction. The beauty is
reflected in the landscape and its people; affliction, however, is woven throughout Guatemalan
history and expressed through the collective woundedness of Guatemalan society. After more than
five hundred years of colonialism and coloniality, and twenty-four years after the signing of the
peace accords between the army and the revolutionary movement in 1996, Guatemalans still carry
their collective woundedness into all areas of personal and public life. For that reason, this
dissertation responds to the question, what will a practical theology of peacebuilding look like in
Guatemala City in response to the collective woundedness of Guatemalan society?
In order to respond to the question presented above, I use the paradigms of practical
theology, liberation theology, and mimetic theory in dialogue with each other to provide a relevant,
contextual, and liberative response. In the search for an answer, I interviewed fourteen grassroots
leaders from the CMT Guatemala network, and I explored their faith practices in relation to the
Guatemalan collective woundedness. The process follows three steps. Firstly, I provide a
description of the Guatemalan context, and the theory-laden practices of the interviewed grassroots leaders. Secondly, I framed the dissertation within contextual theology in order to develop a
practical theology of liberation that is contextually relevant and cross-contextually applicable.
Finally, the theory-laden practices that the interviews and focus groups called forth helped me
propose a practical theology of liberation that responds to the Guatemalan collective woundedness
through the ethics of what I call Human Catechism. Human Catechism is a term conceived in
community, though proposed for the first time in this dissertation. Human Catechism begins with
the ethics of love. It is the process of developing faith practices that help us reimagine each other’s
humanity in the midst of global sacrificial theology. In this dissertation, I propose that Human
Catechism is a practical theology of peacebuilding and liberation that seeks to heal the collective
woundedness of not only the Guatemalan context, but also other environments around the world.
This dissertation contributes in three ways to the field of practical theology. Firstly, it
applies René Girard’s mimetic theory to field of practical theology. Secondly, it provides a tool
that could be used for contextual analysis. I developed interdependent categories for contextual
analysis that can easily be translated to other developing countries of the global south. Finally, it
contributes at the local level empowering grassroots leaders to begin conversations that will allow
them to decolonise their faith practices, and hermeneutics.