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 this type of 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 quandary for every person. The genius of Judaism is its validation of family tree and cultural, ethnic distinction. however the evils of those idea platforms are the obverse in their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, whereas ethnic distinction is without doubt one of the so much bothered concerns in glossy history.Boyarin posits a "diaspora id" so that it will negotiate the pitfalls inherent in both place. Jewishness disrupts different types of id since it isn't 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 diversified 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 instantly, Jew and Palestinian--and as humans.
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Additional info for A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society)
This is well put and means that the initial reasons for Paul's rejection of the Law and his later reflections and amplifications are both equally important. Westerholm argues that Luther understood Paul well but that Paul was representing not Judaism but Christian theology: There is more of Paul in Luther than many twentieth-century scholars are inclined to allow. But the insights of the “new perspective” must not be lost to view. Paul's convictions need to be identified; they must also be recognized as Christian theology.
12] One could just as easily suppose that in these verses Paul is arguing further for his view of the Law, which is grounded, however, elsewhere. On my view, the elsewhere is, of course, the issue of salvation for all: Jews and gentiles alike. Sanders's position in Paul and Palestinian Judaism requires that we assume that there was nothing in Paul's position, thinking, or affect vis-à-vis his prior Judaism that led to his experience on the Damascus Road. Nor has Sanders substantially revised his position on this question.
When, however, the theological emphasis is on “faith working through love,” there will still remain room for that faith to be expressed in works—and indeed it must—, but only such works which are indeed an expression of such faith and love (cf.  Accordingly, Schreiner is right that “works of the Law” refers to the whole Law and not just the particular ethnic markers, and the question is indeed not one of a mistaken attitude toward the Law (229–30). Nevertheless, Dunn is also right. Emphasis on the doing, on the corporeal and literal doing of the Law, leads inevitably to the exclusion of those who have not shared that Law and the history which produced it, while emphasis on faith (as the allegorical interpretation of the Law) allegedly creates a universal People of God.
A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society) by Daniel Boyarin