The Political Theology of Paul / Edition 1

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Overview


This highly original interpretation of Paul by the Jewish philosopher of religion Jacob Taubes was presented in a number of lectures held in Heidelberg toward the end of his life, and was regarded by him as his “spiritual testament.” Taubes engages with classic Paul commentators, including Karl Barth, but also situates the Pauline text in the context of Freud, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Adorno, Scholem, and Rosenzweig. In his distinctive argument for the apocalyptic-revolutionary potential of Romans, Taubes also takes issue with the “political theology” advanced by the conservative Catholic jurist Carl Schmitt. Taubes’s reading has been crucial for a number of interpretations of political theology and of Paul—including those of Jan Assmann and Giorgio Agamben—and it belongs to a wave of fresh considerations of Paul’s legacy (Boyarin, Lyotard, Badiou, Zîzêk). Finally, Taubes’s far-ranging lectures provide important insights into the singular experiences and views of this unconventional Jewish intellectual living in post-Holocaust Germany.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"As always with Taubes, it is all very apocalyptic and reasonably brilliant or, at least, brilliantly distorted and filled with strokes of genius—the genius of a charlatan at his very, very best."—Hebraic Political Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804733458
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Series: Cultural Memory in the Present Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 1,481,039
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


The late Jacob Taubes held the chair in Hermeneutics at the Free University of Berlin. In the U.S., he taught as a visiting professor at Harvard. Taubes apparently published little during his lifetime, but had a very great influence as a teacher. In addition to the present posthumous volume, the Assmanns and others have edited a collection of his writings from 1953-1983 entitled Vom Kult zur Kultur: Bausteine zu einer Kritik der historischen Vernunft; two volumes of his works are currently coming out from Suhrkamp. This would be his first book to be translated into English. Aleida Assmann is Professor of English Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Konstanz. Jan Assmann is Professor of Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg. Moses the Egyptian: An Essay in Mnemohistory (Harvard, 1997) and Re and Amun: The Crisis of Polytheism in New Kingdom Egypt (Routledge, Chapman, & Hall, 1995) are his books to appear in English.
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Table of Contents

Translator's Note and Acknowledgments xi
Preface xiii
Introduction 1
1. Autobiographical Approaches to the Epistle to the Romans 1
2. Paul in Jewish Religious History: Messianic Logic 5
Part I Readings. Paul and Moses: The Establishment of a New People of God 13
1. Addresses of the Epistle to the Romans 13
a. The Gospel as a Declaration of War against Rome: A Reading of Romans 1:1-7 13
b. Jerusalem and the Legitimacy of the World Mission: A Reading of Romans 15:30-33 17
Excursus: The Fate of the Jewish Christian Congregations 21
2. Nomos. Law and Justification: A Reading of Romans 8-11 23
3. Election and Rejection: A Reading of Romans 8:31-9:5 and Berakhot 32a 28
4. Pneuma. The Surpassing of Salvation History and the Overcoming of This World: A Reading of Romans 9-13 38
Part II Effects. Paul and Modernity: Transfigurations of the Messianic 55
1. Strangers in This World: Marcion and the Consequences 55
2. The Zealots of the Absolute and of Decision: Carl Schmitt and Karl Barth 62
3. Nihilism as World Politics and Aestheticized Messianism: Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno 70
4. Exodus from Biblical Religion: Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud 76
Appendix A The Jacob Taubes-Carl Schmitt Story 97
Appendix B Two Letters 107
Afterword 115
Introduction 115
1. Readings: The Legitimation and Formation of a New Union-Covenant [Ver-Bund] 117
2. Effects: Paul and Modernity 131
3. Political Theology 138
Editorial Note 143
Notes 145
Index of Names 157
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Recipe

This highly original interpretation of Paul by the Jewish philosopher of religion Jacob Taubes was presented in a number of lectures held in Heidelberg toward the end of his life, and was regarded by him as his “spiritual testament.” Taubes engages with classic Paul commentators, including Karl Barth, but also situates the Pauline text in the context of Freud, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Adorno, Scholem, and Rosenzweig. In his distinctive argument for the apocalyptic-revolutionary potential of Romans, Taubes also takes issue with the “political theology” advanced by the conservative Catholic jurist Carl Schmitt. Taubes’s reading has been crucial for a number of interpretations of political theology and of Paul—including those of Jan Assmann and Giorgio Agamben—and it belongs to a wave of fresh considerations of Paul’s legacy (Boyarin, Lyotard, Badiou, Zîzêk). Finally, Taubes’s far-ranging lectures provide important insights into the singular experiences and views of this unconventional Jewish intellectual living in post-Holocaust Germany.

Read More Show Less

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