CAN A LITERARY READING BE A LIBERATIVE READING?

Gerald West

Abstract


Situating itself within liberation hermeneutics, this paper discusses whether a literary mode of reading can offer a theoretically well-grounded biblical hermeneutics of liberation. This question arises from the work of two black South African writers, Allan A Boesak and Itumeleng J Mosala, particularly from their readings of the Cain and Abel story. The focus of the paper, however, is a discussion of the literary mode of reading of the feminist interpreter Phyllis Trible. The paper argues that by viewing her literary readings of the Old Testament as deconstructions of patriarchy, we have a theological framework for grounding a literary biblical hermeneutics of liberation. Finally, the paper sketches why it is that such analysis matters, particularly in the South African context, but also within biblical studies generally.

Keywords


Liberation hermeneutics; Liberation; Allan A Boesak; Itumeleng J Mosala; Cain and Abel; Phyllis Trible; Biblical hermeneutics of liberation; South Africa

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/35-0-1854

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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