The Political Theology of Paul

The Political Theology of Paul

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804733458
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 12/09/2003
Series: Cultural Memory in the Present
Edition description: 1
Pages: 179
Sales rank: 1,021,720
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Translator's Note and Acknowledgmentsxi
Prefacexiii
Introduction1
1.Autobiographical Approaches to the Epistle to the Romans1
2.Paul in Jewish Religious History: Messianic Logic5
Part IReadings. Paul and Moses: The Establishment of a New People of God13
1.Addresses of the Epistle to the Romans13
a.The Gospel as a Declaration of War against Rome: A Reading of Romans 1:1-713
b.Jerusalem and the Legitimacy of the World Mission: A Reading of Romans 15:30-3317
Excursus: The Fate of the Jewish Christian Congregations21
2.Nomos. Law and Justification: A Reading of Romans 8-1123
3.Election and Rejection: A Reading of Romans 8:31-9:5 and Berakhot 32a28
4.Pneuma. The Surpassing of Salvation History and the Overcoming of This World: A Reading of Romans 9-1338
Part IIEffects. Paul and Modernity: Transfigurations of the Messianic55
1.Strangers in This World: Marcion and the Consequences55
2.The Zealots of the Absolute and of Decision: Carl Schmitt and Karl Barth62
3.Nihilism as World Politics and Aestheticized Messianism: Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno70
4.Exodus from Biblical Religion: Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud76
Appendix AThe Jacob Taubes-Carl Schmitt Story97
Appendix BTwo Letters107
Afterword115
Introduction115
1.Readings: The Legitimation and Formation of a New Union-Covenant [Ver-Bund]117
2.Effects: Paul and Modernity131
3.Political Theology138
Editorial Note143
Notes145
Index of Names157

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.

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