26 February 2010

Book: Paul, Philosophy, and the Theopolitical Vision

A new book edited by Douglas Harink: "Paul, Philosophy, and the Theopolitical Vision: Critical Engagements with Agamben, Badiou, Zizek, and Others" (Wipf and Stock, February 2010):


Publisher's description: "The apostle Paul was a man of many journeys. We are usually familiar with the geographical ones he made in his own time. This volume traces others – Paul's journeys in our time, as he is co-opted or invited to travel (sometimes as abused slave, sometimes as trusted guide) with modern and recent Continental philosophers and political theorists. Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Benjamin; Taubes, Badiou, Zizek, and Agamben – Paul journeys here among the philosophers. In these essays you are invited to travel with them into the regions of philosophy, hermeneutics, political theory, and theology. You will certainly hear the philosophers speak. But Paul will not remain silent. Above the sounds of the journey his voice comes through, loud and clear."

Endorsements: "To the surprise of many, the apostle Paul has brought new energy to continental philosophy. But to date, the 'Pauline turn' in contemporary theory has been rather isolated from scholars in biblical studies – where Paul is undergoing a different kind of reconsideration. Finally, this volume changes all of that, bringing together philosophers, biblical scholars, and theologians to assess and engage the 'postmodern Paul,' intimating a Pauline revolution that not even Zizek could have dreamed." (James K. A. Smith, Calvin College)

"[A] dialogue rich with insights flowing in both directions – from modern theory to new (or recovered) angles of illumination on Paul, and from the apostle's charged texts back to the presuppositions and conceits of modern theory. That the view of Paul often pressed is 'apocalyptic,' in the sense of drawing on the seminal work of J. Louis (Lou) Martyn, makes the analysis still richer. The result is a book that both educates and delights." (Douglas A. Campbell, Duke Divinity School)

"[The] secular despoilers of Paul are themselves despoiled here, and Christian theology has set before it a wealth of provocations to better faithfulness and understanding. [...] Philosophers and theologians alike are well reminded – indeed well warned – of the dynamite they take into their hands when, in quest of a better human politics, they turn to Paul." (Philip G. Ziegler, University of Aberdeen)

Douglas Harink is Professor of Theology at The King's University College, Edmonton, Canada.

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