A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity by Daniel Boyarin

By Daniel Boyarin

Daniel Boyarin turns to the Epistles of Paul because the non secular autobiography of a first-century Jewish cultural critic. What led Paul--in his dramatic conversion to Christianity--to this type of radical critique of Jewish culture?Paul's well-known formula, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, no female and male in Christ," demonstrates the genius of Christianity: its quandary for everybody. The genius of Judaism is its validation of family tree and cultural, ethnic distinction. however the evils of those notion structures are the obverse in their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, whereas ethnic distinction is likely one of the such a lot matters in sleek history.Boyarin posits a "diaspora id" so that it will negotiate the pitfalls inherent in both place. Jewishness disrupts different types of identification since it isn't nationwide, genealogical, or perhaps non secular, yet all of those, in dialectical pressure with each other. it's analogous with gender: gender id makes us diverse in many ways yet no longer in others.An exploration of those tensions within the Pauline corpus, argues Boyarin, will lead us to a richer appreciation of our personal cultural quandaries as female and male, homosexual and instantly, Jew and Palestinian--and as humans.

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Extra info for A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society)

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23. Davies (1965, 61–68) is a model itself of a cultural criticism which is not anti-Judaic. ” He well understands that Jewish isolation was a fence that preserved Jewish difference, and also that “a fence while it preserves, also excludes. ” See also Kuschel (1992, 202). 24. For Epictetus, conversion to Judaism was used as an analogy for becoming a true Stoic, suggesting, as Gager argues, that it was so common as to have become virtually proverbial. 25. See also Thielman (1989, 24) and Westerholm (1988, 117–18).

This is just right, but despite mighty efforts to harmonize—“What is wrong with the law, and thus with Judaism, is that it does not provide for God's ultimate purpose, that of saving the entire world through faith in Christ”—Sanders still leaves the christological and universalist aspects insufficiently integrated. Thus he can still write, “Paul's view of the law depends more on the exclusivism of his Christology than on anything else” (1983, 57, n. 64). Sanders still seems to hold that Paul came to Christ, realized that faith in the cross was God's plan for salvation, and then disqualified the Jewish Law for salvation; he does not argue that Paul realized that the Jewish Law could not be the means for salvation because it was only for Jews and came to Christ to solve that problem.

However, Westerholm (1988, 114–15). 18. ; Dunn 1983 and 1990). 19. With regard to Judaism we are not in the situation that we are in with regard to the Superapostles of 2 Corinthians or the women prophets of 1 Corinthians, where we have only Paul with which to reconstruct his opposition. Wire 1990 is a simply brilliant example of just how much can be accomplished convincingly using such methods in the absence of actual data. But where there are data, it is impossible to rely on reconstructions through Paul's rhetoric.

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