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 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 problem for everybody. The genius of Judaism is its validation of family tree and cultural, ethnic distinction. however the evils of those concept structures are the obverse in their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, whereas ethnic distinction is likely one of the so much bothered concerns in sleek history.

Boyarin posits a "diaspora identification" for you to negotiate the pitfalls inherent in both place. Jewishness disrupts different types of identification since it isn't really nationwide, genealogical, or perhaps non secular, yet all of those, in dialectical pressure with each other. it truly is analogous with gender: gender id makes us assorted in many ways yet now not 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 directly, Jew and Palestinian—and as human beings.

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