1971, J. Severino Croatto writes Liberación y Libertad

Croatto, J. Severino (Argentina) “Liberación y Libertad. Reflexiones hermenéuticas en torno al Antiguo Testamento”, Revista Bíblica Vol. 33/No. 1, pp. 3-7.
An early example of Latin American liberationist biblical hermeneutics comes from the Argentine biblical scholar, José Severino Croatto. This short article in the Revista Bíblica bears witness to some of its author’s own history, and the history of the movement that he was becoming a part of, from the unique viewpoint of a biblical specialist. The contents of this essay would be expanded in the book Liberación y Libertad: pautas hermenéuticas (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Mundo Nuevo, 1973), translated into English as Exodus: A Hermeneutics of Freedom (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1981). We are fortunate to have the original article as well as previews of the revised Spanish book available free online … (read more)

The original article has been made public on the website of the Asociación Bíblica Argentina. It is a brief outline (“apenas un esbozo”) of the Exodus theme that it posits is the governing supposition of the “master lines” of the biblical theology, based upon a presentation at the 1970 meeting of SASPE, the Sociedad Argentina de Profesores de Sagradas Escrituras. What Croatto tries to do in this article is to go beyond the academic exegesis of the Exodus narrative in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament into the hermeneutical question of the exodus story of his own generation in Argentina/Latin America: “como hombre de esta generación, ya no puedo “quedarme” en el éxodo de los hebreos del siglo XIII a.C. No sólo he de leer el texto sagrado sino que éste debe “leerme” a mí.” Croatto is likely speaking with his biblical studies guild as his target audience when he writes that “el acontecimiento del éxodo-“liberación” es tan fundamental en la teología bíblica de la salvación, no podemos desoír tan fácilmente los movimientos contemporáneos de “liberación”, sobre todo cuando son inspirados en la fe.” He is encouraging his colleagues and the pastoral leadership who will be reading the Revista Bíblica that “liberation” is fundamental to biblical theology and that, if they can recognise it, there is a biblical basis for the liberation movements of the day.


For the preview of the 1978 revised edition of Liberación y Libertad: pautas hermenéuticas, (published by CEP, Lima, Peru) it can be viewed on Scribd.

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