P J Naudé


The most suitable approach to a discussion of the hermeneutics of Liberation Theology is to view the latter as fundamentally part of the distinctive theological methodology developed by liberation theologians. To deal with the poor as hermeneutical subject in Liberation Theology, the subject is developed in four parts.

In the first part the intimate relation between methodology and hermeneutics is defended in the light of the fact that the locus theologicus constitutes the hermeneutical subject. The methodological starting point of Liberation Theology and the hermeneutical point of departure (the faith of the poor) thus coincide.

In the second part two implications of the poor as hermeneutical subject are dealt with, namely the reinterpretation of presuppossitions in view of the inevitable ideological nature of faith, and the relative position of Scripture with regard to the status of socio-analysis as alternative “text”.

The third part deals with the relation between the canonical text and the present context as basis for liberation theologians’ re-reading of Scripture in view of the poor.

To conclude, a few critical questions are enumerated in the fourth part, dealing, inter alia, with the revelatory status of “the signs of the time” and the methodological position of Scripture in Liberation Theology.


Hermeneutics of Liberation Theology; The poor; The faith of the poor; Hermeneutical subject; Presuppossitions; Ideological nature of faith; The signs of the time

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