Paul Ricoeur and the methodology of the theology of liberation : the hermeneutics of J. Severino Croalto, Juan Luis Segundo and Clodovis Boff
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The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the theology of liberation, through the study of the influence of the hermeneutical circle of Paul Ricoeur on its methodology. Ricoeur is an interdisciplinary philosopher whose reflections are the product of a Transcendental Phenomenology in dialogue with Human Sciences and studies in the interpretation of symbols. Chapter one is an introduction to Ricoeur's interpretation theory and his hermeneutical circle. Chapter two deals with the specific elements of Ricoeur's Biblical Hermeneutic, the dynamic of symbols and the theory of myths. In the second part of chapter two we compare these elements with Rudolph Bultmann's demythologising project, and describe Ricoeur's most important contributions to Biblical interpretation. Chapter three studies the development of Ricoeur's Biblical hermeneutic in the work of three influential hermeneuticians from Latin America: J. Severino Croatto from Argentina, Juan Luis Segundo from Uruguay, and Clodovis Boff from Brazil. Each of these has based his interpretation theory on Ricoeur's work. We search for the basic tensions and conflicts in each of these three theologians, such as that between tradition and re-creation of meaning in the Scriptures, and their ways to resolve them in a new interpretative synthesis. Finally, in chapter four we present our conclusions and reflections. 1) Ricoeur's contribution to liberation theology in three main areas: the search for the Latin American identity, the actual praxis of liberation and the development of a concept of positive utopia. 2) The influence of Ricoeur in the work of Croatto, Segundo and Boff. 3) The original contribution of liberation theology to Ricoeur'g hermeneutical circle. This contribution comes from the hermeneutical function of the Basic Ecclesial Communities which complete Ricoeur's own project of a philosophy of action.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy