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Author: Jayne Svenungsson
Publication title: Wrestling with Angels Or How to Avoid Decisionist Messianic Romances
Conference: NORLIT 2009: Codex and Code, Aesthetics, Language and Politics in an Age of Digital Media, Stockholm, August 6-9, 2009
Publication type: Article
Issue: 42
Article No.: 23
Language: English
Abstract: Throughout (Christian) history, the messianic event has been linked in the imagination to the idea of a consumption – and thus abrogation – of the (Jewish) Law.1 Although there is little scriptural basis for such an opposition, Law has been pit against Grace, Letter against Spirit, and the Jewish God of Judgment against the Christian God of Love. Even in secular Western thought, the pejorative connotations of the Law remain, most markedly in psychoanalytically influenced philosophies such as those of Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva. A similar tendency can also be detected in Alain Badiou’s and Slavoj Žižek’s more recent appraisals of Saint Paul as the founder of a universal gospel of justice and redemption, causing an irreversible rupture with Jewish legalism and particularism. To both philosophers – writing from the reemerged radical left-wing of European political thought – the apostle’s (alleged) turning against the Law not only reveals the very matrix for every truly emancipatory politics; it also offers an impulse to wrestle free from decades of unfruitful identity politics and localist pragmatism. In line with a significant number of modern European – notably Protestant – theologians, philosophers and biblical scholars, “Law” is once more associated here with restrictive forces which stand in the way of universal human liberation.
Publisher: Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet
Year: 2009
Available: 2010-04-27
No. of pages: 12
Pages: 287-298
Series: Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print): 1650-3740
ISSN (online): 1650-3686
File: http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/042/023/ecp0942023.pdf

Svenungsson, Jayne (2009). Wrestling with Angels Or How to Avoid Decisionist Messianic Romances. http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/042/023/ (2022-09-25)

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