The core of this article consists of a critical rethinking of the classical ‘see-judge-act’-methodology of liberation theology. It is contended that this method threatens to install a dualism between a universal, secular experience of oppression and a Christian interpretation of it, thereby creating a hierarchical relation with a reducing effect on the complexity of the experience of poverty itself. The author investigates this issue by focusing on liberation theology’s understanding of the ‘preferential option for the poor’ (part 1) and the way in which the see-judge-act-methodology affects this understanding (part 2). Justaert gradually moves on to alternative epistemologies, starting with the discussion of a hermeneutical approach (C. Boff and Schillebeeckx) and the method of ‘historicization’ (Ellacuría), and eventually proposing a new phenomenologically and materially informed methodology for liberation theology named ‘cartography’, that is grounded in a ‘new materialist’ metaphysics as articulated by (a.o.) Gilles Deleuze, Rosi Braidotti and Karen Barad (part 3).