Universalism as Production of the Same: St. Paul’s Path Through Law to Love
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According to Giorgio Agamben, it is only through the lens of Walter Benjamin's "Messianic Marxism” that the truly revolutionary message of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans becomes apparent. In his The Time That Remains: A Commentary on the Letter to the Romans, Agamben sets out to defend this claim, most notably against the central thesis of Alain Badiou's Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism: that "a universal thought, proceeding on the basis of the worldly proliferation of alterities (the Jew, the Greek, women, men, slaves, free men, and so on) produces a Sameness and Equality (there is no longer either Jew, or Greek, and so on)" (Badiou, 109). The proposed presentation will reveal not only why Agamben is mistaken to doubt Badiou but also why it is Badiou’s reading of Paul, not Agamben’s, that delivers the Saint’s truly radical insight into the transition from Law to Love, from Authority to Freedom.