St. Paul Among the Philosophers

St. Paul Among the Philosophers

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In his epistles, St. Paul sounded a universalism that has recently been taken up by secular philosophers who do not share his belief in Christ, but who regard his project as centrally important for contemporary political life. The Pauline project -- as they see it -- is the universality of truth, the conviction that what is true is true for everyone, and that the truth should be known by everyone. In this volume, eminent New Testament scholars, historians, and philosophers debate whether Paul's promise can be fulfilled. Is the proper work of reading Paul to reconstruct what he said to his audiences? Is it crucial to retrieve the sense of history from the text? What are the philosophical undercurrents of Paul's message? This scholarly dialogue ushers in a new generation of Pauline studies.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 209 pages
  • Bloomington, United States
  • English
  • 0253003636
  • 9780253003638

Review quote

It is an axiom of postmodern Continental philosophy that the meaning of texts is never wholly determined by the intent of the authors who write them. That is certainly true for St. Paul, whose words so variously (mis)understood have launched many reformations in the history of Christianity. As part of the 'religious turn' in recent Continental philosophy, Paul's New Testament writings have sparked intriguing readings by atheist philosophers Alain Badiou (Ecole Normale Superieure) and Slovaj Zizek (Univ. Ljubljana, Slovenia), who were subjects of a 2005 conference titled 'Religion and Postmodernism, ' on which this collection is based. Caputo (Syracuse Univ.) offers a concise, lucid introduction that is worth the price of this valuable book, which makes accessible Badiou's difficult text on Paul, and offers a compelling (postconference) essay by Zizek on Job. But context determines meaning, and much of the value in this book (and the drama of the conference) rests in the trenchant evaluations by biblical historians--especially Paula Fredriksen (Boston Univ.) and Daniel Boyarin (UC-Berkeley)--of Badiou and Zizek's appropriations of Paul at Paul's expense. Philosophers, beware of historians' careful constructions of meaning! They too believe in truth. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers. -- ChoiceS. Young, McHenry County College, Feb. 2010"
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About John D Caputo

John D. Caputo is Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities at Syracuse University. He is author or editor of several publications, including The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event (IUP, 2006) and Transcendence and Beyond: A Postmodern Inquiry (IUP, 2007).Linda Martin Alcoff is Laura J. and Douglas Meredith Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University. She is author of Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self and editor (with Eva Feder Kittay) of The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy."
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18 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
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3 28% (5)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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