23 May 2019

“To the Unknown God”: Paul and Some Philosophers

Key contemporary thinkers within and beyond the borders of Christianity have engaged in a new exploration of Pauline texts, in order to uncover what Jacob Taubes has called Paul’s “political theology.” In this seminar, we will explore key texts in this growing literature, paying particular attention to that group of thinkers whom John D. Caputo has dubbed “the new trinity of Paul”: Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Slavoj Žižek. The relatively recent interest in Paul amongst such “non-religious” thinkers as these prompts several initial questions: Why Paul? Why now? What is it about contemporary global society that has led these thinkers to become convinced that Paul’s writings hold a particularly important and salient message for our time? What do these thinkers say that message is? As we develop various answers to these and other questions through class discussion, we will also pay attention to the way in which this turn to Paul affects the future course of secular thinking. Could it be that this new interest in Paul is a further sign that the West is moving into a ‘postsecular’ era, one that is less allergic to religious sources of insight into the shared social and political problems that the global human community currently faces? In turn, we will also explore how the insights of these philosophers affect a Christian’s understanding of Paul’s writings.

ICS 220510 S19
ICT5764HS L0101
Drs. Ron Kuipers, Jeff Dudiak
May 23-31, 2019
Location: TBA

(MA, PhD)