By Daniel Boyarin
Daniel Boyarin turns to the Epistles of Paul because the religious autobiography of a first-century Jewish cultural critic. What led Paul--in his dramatic conversion to Christianity--to any such 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 predicament for everyone. The genius of Judaism is its validation of family tree and cultural, ethnic distinction. however the evils of those inspiration platforms are the obverse in their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, whereas ethnic distinction is without doubt one of the such a lot bothered matters in smooth history.Boyarin posits a "diaspora identification" that allows you to negotiate the pitfalls inherent in both place. Jewishness disrupts different types of id since it isn't nationwide, genealogical, or maybe non secular, yet all of those, in dialectical stress with each other. it's analogous with gender: gender id makes us diversified 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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Additional resources for A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society)
Watson has strongly argued this case (1986, 94–96). The Alexandrian Jewish philosopher and predecessor of Philo, Aristobolus, refers to those who are committed to the literal interpretation of the Law as “having neither strength nor insight,” το ς δ μ μετ χουσι δυν μεως κα συν σεως λλα τ γραπτ μ νον προσκειμ νοις (cited in Hengel [1974, 164], who has no occasion there, of course, to refer to the possible Pauline parallel). view=print 6/11/2006 A Radical Jew Page 39 of 188 of intellectual and spiritual strength.
He argues that there is a contradiction within Paul between repeated statements that the Law condemns and kills and also-repeated statements that the Law (or the “old dispensation”) was “glorious” (both together in 2 Corinthians 3). view=print 6/11/2006 A Radical Jew Page 32 of 188 good: The simplest explanation of this dual form of contrast seems to be that [Paul] came to relegate the Mosaic dispensation to a less glorious place because he found something more glorious and that he then, thinking in black-and-white terms, developed the death/life contrast.
Sanders has been well told already (Watson 1986, 1–22). By now, in all but certain diehard Lutheran circles in Germany, it is well recognized that Luther's description of Judaism had more to do with his battles with Catholicism and his own personal spiritual conflicts than with either Paul or Palestinian Judaism. The question that remains, then, is: What about Paul? Did Paul simply misdescribe or misrepresent Judaism for one reason or another, or is it rather the Lutheran tradition which has misread Paul?