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Paul and the Government of the Soul:
Reading the Modern Citizen-Subject in the Early 'Christian' Archive
Jason Adams

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“What was missing in classical antiquity was the problematization of the constitution of the self as a subject. Beginning with Christianity we have the opposite: an appropriation of morality by the theory of the subject.” – Michel Foucault

Introduction: The Political Theology of 'Man and the Citizen'

While the recent riots were still spreading across hundreds of banlieues throughout the French territoriality,1 I had an opportunity to discuss the politics of citizenship and identity there with a national of the Republic who had been pursuing his graduate studies here at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. While initially, when we had still been discussing the topic of the Iraq War, he expressed understandable outrage at the increasingly xenophobic and imperialistic mentality that marks so much of contemporary American life, when it came to what seemed to me to be the related situation within his own territory of origin, I was surprised at how abruptly the tenor of his argument changed. As he saw it, the riots had no basis whatever, since in the French national imaginary, only once immigrants had lived there for a certain number of generations, such that they could become properly assimilated to the local culture, should they really consider themselves worthy of the Gallic tradition of 'liberty, equality and fraternity'. While my interlocutor never considered the primarily Catholic enframing of the lifeworld of which he spoke, or of how it might have played a role in the why these populations had become so dramatically excluded in relation to the 'citizens', it almost seemed as though he believed he didn't have to. Unfortunately, he counseled, for those who are suspended between the culture from whence they came and that into which they sought refuge  (which for him included not only first and second, but even third generation bodies), they were simply out of luck, for, as he emphasized, without a hint of empathy, 'they have no status'. Perhaps then, it is the American version of this Christian political-theological background, so deeply woven into the ostensibly secular cultures in the West, that made the image of Johnny Depp's announcement of his evacuation of France seem so ludicrous, particularly after his similarly justified departure from Los Angeles in the wake of the riots of 1992. As he exclaimed, incredulous that the identity of his chosen home had revealed such unsettling complexity and conflictuality, "it's insane, that setting cars on fire is the new strike. I went there (to France) to live because it seemed so simple. Now it's anything but. I don't know how they'll recover from this."2

What is it then, that makes it so difficult for so many French and Americans, considered to be the very wellspring, not only of the rights of the 'citizen', but also of 'man' as such, to conceive of immigrant bodies as being of equal political validity to their own?  What is most clear in the discourse of both the Frenchman and the American cited above is that, despite their parroting of liberal statist ideologies of equality and liberty, for each of them, a powerful national imaginary persists, in which not so long ago, under the cloak of Protestant or Catholic enframings of 'Christendom', the identity of the nation and its subjects was still 'simple' and easy to discern. From such a privileged locus of enunciation, the real problem lies not within the circumscribed political-theological strictures of national identity, the very basis of self and Other upon which their respective states were founded, but rather with those bodies that 'have no status', as if they could have 'chosen' otherwise. What I would like to explore then, is how this theological foundation of subjectivity that later enabled the emergence within the secular of the modern citizen-subject, first emerged in late antiquity within the complex web of events in which the Pauline movement within Judaism, one which had been directed precisely against the subsumption of difference by identity was ultimately recuperated by the Roman Empire and redeployed as 'Christian' such that the radical pluralism it might have enabled was finally transformed into a justification for solidification.

Confessions of the Citizen: Imperial Practices of Political Subjectivization

While there have been a considerable number of studies on the emergence of 'Europe' through the conversion of Constantine to Christianity, a process that necessarily enframed the emergence of the modern state in the wake of the Reformation, it is particularly striking that there have been so few that sought to investigate the history of the primary political subject that it enabled in the process, the subjectivization of the modern 'citizen'.3 Certainly, such continentally-focused texts as James Everett Seaver's Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-438) elucidate the legalization of exclusion that began with the recuperation of early Christianity, particularly insofar as its publication shortly after the Second World War, made available for the first time in English, large sections of the Nicene and Theodosian Codes.4 Yet by concomitantly avoiding the question of the subject, such investigations leave unaccounted for the peculiar kinds of selves that became necessary for these practices to begin to take hold, much less for them to be considered intelligible in the first place. Ironically then, it may be not to the academic archive to which one must first turn for such questions, but rather to the British comedic film of the Seventies; indeed, who can easily forget what is perhaps the most outstanding scene in Monty Python's The Life of Brian, in which the protagonist, representing a parodical cinematization of Jesus Christ, leans out of his second-floor apartment and says to the assembled crowd, "Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for your selves! You're ALL individuals!" Seeming as though they might have actually gotten his point, the bodies reply together in a single, massive voice, "Yes! We're all individuals!", to which Brian chirps back, "You're all different!" The paradox that props up the initial humor is even more apparent the second time around, when the mass replies once more, "Yes, we ARE all different!" This characteristic style of the Monty Python films is then cut short by a narrative device in the following shot, in which the only singular body in the entire sea of 'individuals' has the fortitude to proclaim, "I'm not..." This scene, and much of the rest of the film, speaks volumes about the long history that allowed for the emergence of the modern citizen-subject as a governable population, one that was "born out of, on the one hand, the archaic model of Christian pastoral, and, on the other, a diplomatic-military technique, perfected on European scale with the treaty of Westphalia".5

There is however, a history of the subject that can be mined for insights into the history of the citizen, one that emerges out of the work of Martin Heidegger on the one hand, for whom the temporality of being-in-the-world was most revealing, and that of Louis Althusser on the other, whom, in his celebrated essay on interpellation, made a special point to consider the peculiarity of the Christian contribution to that project, arguing that because of its demand for belief it actually serves as the 'number one' example of an Ideological State Apparatus.6 His student Michel Foucault can be understood as having extended and radicalized the work of both, producing an extensive corpus that can be read as a genealogy of the subject as such, stretching from Dream and Existence to Confessions of the Flesh.7 While his earlier work tended to suggest that the subject emerged only with the Enlightenment period, coinciding with the birth of the modern state in the post-Westphalian dispensation, the later volumes on the History of Sexuality, which were intended as his magnum opus, mark the first ventures into the question of governmentality, which he always insisted upon having originated with 'Christianity' in late antiquity. What this history suggests, is that one cannot understand the governmentalization of the state, and thereby of its modern citizen-subject, without also appreciating the extent to which what Nikolas Rose called 'the governing of the soul', began not in the modern period, but with the confessional practices of early Christianity, which was itself a redeployment of the earlier Platonic practices of the self in ancient Greece. As his remarks on the Anabaptists indicate, Foucault believed that an emancipatory theological strand emerged at various times and places within the history of Christianity, a tendency I identify in the conclusion as indicative of the failure of the Roman Empire's redeployment of Pauline 'Christianity' to completely recuperate it, a strange reversal in which what had began as an anti-identitarian heretical movement within Judaism was instrumentally redeployed as the most virulent subsumption of difference in the history of the Occident.8 Indeed, if one revisits the archive, it quickly becomes clear that this is precisely the moment in which the confessional basis of the authority of the Catholic Church, which Foucault called 'pastoral power', meant that one must recognize the 'truth' of oneself as a sinner in the positive sense, thus laying the foundation for the productivity of subjectivity in modern liberal modes of governance.

Although the lectures themselves have not yet been translated, much of this is elucidated in his 1980 course summary, On the Government of the Living, in which Foucault suggests that the problematic of governmentality is one in which it is not the pure form of obedience to a repressive sovereign that matters, but rather the stating of the 'truth' of what one is that later enables the 'art of govenrment', particularly insofar as such practices render one governable within a liberal discourse of freedom. As he puts it, his question is "how is it that within Western Christian culture, the government of men requires, on the part of those who are led, in addition to acts of obedience and submission, 'acts of truth', which have this particular character that not only is the subject required to speak truthfully, but to speak truthfully about himself and his faults, his desires, the state of his soul, etc."9 This confessional basis of the modern citizen-subject begins then, as a Christianized extension of the Platonic forms of gnothi sauton, the Greek phrase for 'know thyself', that Foucault describes as divided between the 'ontological' concept of exomologesis, in which the relationship of a penitential subject to truth is one in which it becomes important to dramatize one's status in front of a crowd, and the epistemological notion of exagoreusis, which emerges when the performative foundation of the former is replaced with "the duty of saying everything on the movements of one's thoughts in a formulation that is intended to be exhaustive".10 Each of these forms of gnothi sauton acquire their force through the moralizing which Christianity encouraged in the form of piety and humility, so that no thought that might reveal what one 'is', might ever be invisible to the administrative gaze. In the earlier Stoic examination of conscience, the 'take care of thyself' that was known as epimelesthai sauto, the emphasis was not so much upon the dramatization of one's status or 'permanent vigilance towards oneself', but instead upon the recollection of the events of the day that had just ended, such that one might develop an ethical framework in the negotiations between oneself and others. In the Platonic-Christian dispensation then, we observe that the focus of attention is decontextualized and recentered in the morality-based search for a 'truth' of the self, where one must carefully examine each thought that enters the mind in order to determine its source and then, like Cassian's example of the moneychanger, sort each of them according to its 'value' a propos the kind of subject that one ought to be. The process of gnothi sauton, particularly in the latter form of exagoreusis, is not a determination to be made alone, but rather by the sovereign that one has recognized, which is why the permanent verbalization of every passing thought is so important, it "allows the director to give advice and to diagnose...[it is therefore] an indispensable part of the government of men by each other".11

Because of the writing style he adopted, the late texts of Foucault are often subject to confusion; indeed, even as astute a thinker as Judith Butler seems to have overlooked the difference between the Platonic-Christian gnothi sauton and the Stoic epimelesthai sauto in her recent argument that Foucault had been sympathetic to earlier Greek versions of 'confession'. As she saw it then, this production of the self that Foucault identified as the basis of modern governmentality was not necessarily reproduced in every form of Freudian psychoanalysis,12 and her use of it was made more credible, since even the most formidable opponent of it had discovered forms of confession that might serve emancipatory desires. Yet if one revisits the work, it is quite clear that in rejecting the moralizing basis of gnothi sauton, Foucault also rejects the idea that the analysand will necessarily be cured of his malady simply by 'confessing' the truth of his madness to the analyst. Much to the contrary, he suggests that in psychoanalysis, what is really taking place is not so much the healing of the psyche as the reinscription of the Western practice of confession, each of which hold "that a man needs for his own salvation to know exactly as possible who he is and also, which is something rather different, that he needs to tell it as explicitly as possible to some other people".13 This confession is a technology of the self through which one experiences oneself as wholly 'autonomous', a belief which is all the more insidious insofar as these practices intersect with practices of domination through individualization and totalization, in a manner that becomes increasingly imperceptible to the same extent that it becomes increasingly influential.14  Thus it would certainly be a mistake to say that Foucault is simply building upon the Freudian notion that the law becomes internalized by the subject, since what he describes is more like what Deleuze described as the 'societies of control', in which late modern power becomes deterritorialized from its institutional basis, and acts directly upon and from within the body, only later articulating with organized domination. This is then, precisely where the importance of discerning the transformations endogenous to antiquity comes in, and its also why he was at such pains to discern the finer edges of "a transformation which took place at the beginning of the Christian era, of the Christian period, when the ancient obligation of knowing oneself became the monastic precept 'confess, to your spiritual guide, each of your thoughts'".15 Contra Butler then, as well as other advocates of psychoanalytic critique as a 'liberating' of the subject from sovereign power, what Foucault argues is that in the Stoic school of epimelesthai sautou, the individual was to be armed through the master's discourse with notions and concepts that would provide him with a means of self-defense.16

From Profanation to Consecration: The 'Economic Theology' of Late Antiquity

If Foucault is correct that the confessional basis of governmentality has roots that extend as far back as Plato, one is tempted to ask what took place with the shift from a Rome in which the pagan dispensation was understood as politically expedient, to one in which Christianity seemed more appropriate. Peter Brown considers some of these questions in his insightful Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman World, with a discussion of the theft of a fourth century subject's purse, in which the victim referred to all the possible suspects who might have committed the act in a widely-distributed notice, including most notably, a 'gentile or a Christian, whomsoever'. He takes this as a starting point from which to argue that, just as the transformation from theological to secular authority in the modern epoch was by no means total, neither was that from pagan to Christian in late antiquity, being that there was considerable overlap in a complex process that is still ongoing. Rather than simply accepting that Constantine's conversion marked the end of paganism then, he argues that the commonly accepted story of the fourth century is much like all other discussions of historical periodization, a representation that does not in the least exhaust the possible understandings of what occurred there – indeed, as he emphasizes, it is one that "was first constructed by a brilliant generation of Christian historians, polemicists and preachers in the opening decades of the fifth century".17 The reason it was important for this story to be constructed in the way that it was, he suggests, is that after the appearance of Christ on earth, paganism should have disappeared, it should not have required Constantine's imperial sponsorship of Church doctrine as officially 'Roman' for its solidification – rather, the exclusionary doctrine of the Theodosian Code should have been primarily confirmatory, amounting to little more than a 'mopping-up operation'.

The history that he discerns however, grates against this kind of discourse in a manner that is most unsettling, such that the 'gentle violence' of that epoch becomes considerably more clear, particularly insofar as the stability of the political order came to be connected conceptually with the spread of Christianity. While paganism was most often portrayed since the Fifth Century as inert, static and therefore easily subsumed, Christianity has been represented as complex, fluid and adaptable, as though the former was incapable of discovering ways of inserting itself into the latter. What Brown adds to the discussion is the notion that after the failure of Christianity's mission to convert the entirety of the world's populations, the way in which this story has been pieced together must be revisited so as to reassemble it in a multitude of ways that might make other worlds possible. Contra the self-assured rhetoric of most thinkers, for whom the pagan world had died a quick and seamless death, he discusses the widely revered Christian monk Shenoute, who in this period counseled his followers on the minutiae of attaching a jackal's claw to one's body, as a charm believed to bring the bearer an abundance of 'health and happiness'. The religious common sense with which we are most familiar today emerged in precisely this way, by recuperating aspects of pagan cosmology, such as the moralizing injunction of gnothi sauton, which Foucault investigated in the work of Plato and Socrates, within a Christianized frame made politically intelligible by the conversion of Constantine and the declaration of what had previously been a disordered multiplicity as 'Christendom', but carried out in such a way that rather than these demanding absolute conformity to that order, divergent elements could be brought back under the fold through a special kind of tolerance, one in which their difference could be incorporated under the worship of the sovereign that often took the place of the worship of earlier gods.18  Thus when Robert Markus' insists that "a history of Christianization in late antiquity and in the early middle ages must begin with close attention to what Christians themselves considered to be 'Christianization'",19 we ought to remember the distinction that Foucault made between the immanent and ethical basis of the Stoic epimelesthai sautou and the transcendental and moralizing foundation of the gnothi sauton.

Its particularly interesting then, when one considers that the confessional subject was constituted in the form of pre-existing truth, that it is here that the word 'pollution' enters Brown's historiography, in his emphasis on the ambiguity of Christianity's very special prejudice towards other spiritual worlds, one which operated in the form of 'repressive tolerance'. While this was the primary way in which its authority came to be understood as legitimate, rather than through the 'spread of the Gospel' as Fifth Century Christian historians preferred to cast it, as thought everything else immediately disintegrated, Brown argues that this "sense of pollution, focused on the act of pagan sacrifice and its associated rituals, was framed in such a way as to imply both that paganism lay outside their own community and that it was there to stay".20 Even in Augustine's discourse we discover this kind of 'ban-and-capture' formulation, in which long-standing pagan rituals, particularly those which were engaged in public, were described not as the radical antitheses of the Christian dispensation, as one would expect, but rather as being within the 'favor of God'. Indeed, in keeping with Foucault's argument that the confessional practices of gnothi sauton relied upon an ontology in which evil thoughts were identifiable by the difficulty one experienced in enunciating them, the only practices considered as pollution in this period were those that were conducted in secret. To take the analogy further, we might also consider Foucault's description of the 'pollution' of nocturnal emissions, as well as any other corporeal event that escaped the will, such as the involuntary erections that the early monastic culture could not tolerate; everything was to be mastered and placed under the will of the subject, who was in turn placed under the will of the sovereign.

The point of contact between this world and that of the Roman Empire was inscribed primarily in the language of asceticism, which held both that those furthest from the material world will inherit the earth in the long term, and that in the present "power over others, superiorities of wealth and culture, were...direct gifts from a High God".21 It was this same exceptionalism which allowed the destruction of pagan temples in geographically dispersed localities to occur in the midst of a certain tolerance, which only reaffirmed the universal order of Armageddon that was the basis of the battle against 'pollution'. In the work of Peter Brown then, what becomes clear is that it was Augustine and not Constantine who rejected this dispensation, suggesting that pagan practices should be immediately confronted wherever they persist, as in the 'feast of the Kalends', in which the former "condemned covered celebrations that had been judged innocent by Christians of an earlier generation".22 Such was the fare of the early representation of a newly inaugurated Christendom, in which the myth of the 'decline of the Church', which begins with Origen, paradoxically served as to reinforce its hegemony. Indeed, this can be understood as a primary moment in the history of the ideology of progress, insofar as one of the primary goals of the Augustinian imperative, was the destruction of anything considered to be ancient. It is this imagination of the clean separation of these worlds that persists today, while the lived experience of that transition was nothing of the sort in the world in which it occurred.

While it is tempting to posit a tolerant pagan world against the sudden intolerance of Christianity, Brown's work makes this kind of rhetoric impossible, pointing out in a manner that recalls Foucault's discussion of the Platonic gnothi sauton, that the Athenian citizen was not one who paraded his singularity, but rather experienced himself as a complex subject of a whole assemblage of laws and expectations, which combined persecution and toleration in a manner that continued after the conversion of Constantine. While the historians of the fifth century sought to portray the replacement of paganism with Christianity as a rapid and decisive process, theologically destined to imperial embodiment, the reign of Julian and the inability of subsequent authorities to exercise anything approaching 'complete control' produced a situation in which only with the appearance of the Theodosian Code in the early fifth century would this become the letter of the law. Interestingly enough, Brown describes even these legal documents as a kind of useful story, one in which "the imperial laws on heretics, Jews and pagans, collected in the sixteenth book, were arranged in chronological order, starting with the emperor Constantine...[such that] all laws were seen to have led up to the new Christian dispensation".23 The philosophers then, tended to represent themselves as the defenders of tolerance, but what is most interesting here is that, despite the sheen of rejecting material wealth and the trappings of power, such figures rarely questioned established authority, only calling for respect for difference when it was impossible for it to be easily subsumed, which is to say, when it was useful.  If peoples of different religious persuasions were able to coexist in the post-Constantinian Roman Empire then, it was largely because of governmental practices that originated long prior to that time, rooted in an ontology closer to that of the pre-Socratics for whom it was more important to care for the self than to 'know' the self, radically conflicted with the exclusionary codes that are emphasized in histories of this period, which is not to mention that "the imperial government continued to depend, to a very large extent, for its effectiveness, on the consensus of a widely diffused network of local elites".24 Thus, consensus derived not so much from philosophy itself as from common behavioral codes, such as those signified as paideia and devotio, with the former referring to the individual grooming of future magistrates and the latter signifying the obedience of elites to their imperial guarantors – a hegemonic power, in other words, made to seem natural because of the spectacle of a 'ceremonious majesty'. In order for that to become possible, uniformity could not be imposed haphazardly, but required instead a more gentle violence, one in which the dignity of its authority could not come in to question. Thus even in the later Roman Empire, the collaboration of local elites through the annual collection of taxes was what was most indispensable to the continuity of its power rather than absolute religious uniformity, as is clear in the case of the city of Gaza whose pagan temples were spared by emperor Arcadius, lest their loyalty be interrupted.

As Peter Brown shows, this became most clear after the rise of Theodosius and the legal solidification of the theological hierarchy, in which Christian superiority was made to seem as though it were organic, given that pagans, Jews and others were summarily treated as simple-minded throwbacks to an earlier time.  But it was the concomitant consolidation of the new political class, spread across the vast territorial expanse, that made this legal framework function practically, a culture of power that despite officialistic rhetoric to the contrary, was already pre-secular in almost every detail of its actual operation. What Brown argues in regard to the well-known incidents of violence in the fourth and fifth centuries against pagans and Jews is that rather than being officially sponsored, these were largely the acts of groups of monks whose bodies carried no legal status, and who were perhaps, most akin to modern death squads, in regards to which the official power could plausibly deny complicity, being that they were officially disapproved of by the Holy Roman authority, since "spasmodic, largely unpredictable violence of this kind was inconsistent with the perpetual, controlled violence of a heavily governed society".25 It was the intersectionality of these forces then, that made up the gentle violence of the late antique order, one in which the process of Christianization was preceded by that of Romanization, which as Foucault demonstrates with such erudition, privileged a very particular practice of self-examination in which morality became the basis of the subject and the negotiative basis of ethics became unintelligible.

Conclusion: Paul's Epistles as a Practice of Political Subjectification

How then, might we begin to think outside of this enframing of the self as positively-constituted identity, in ways that might allow us to circumvent the 'world without spirit' that has emerged between the ancient practices of confession and the government of the soul as the production of the modern citizen-subject? At a key moment in his investigations of self-examination under post-Constantinian Christianity, Foucault insists that "we must underline that this expression does not have as its end the establishing of sovereign mastery of oneself by oneself; what is expected, on the contrary, is humility and mortification, detachment with respect to oneself and the establishing of a relationship with oneself which tends towards a destruction of the form of self".26 We can conclude from this that he does seek alternative processes of subjectification, such as that which emerged in the Greco-Roman dispensation, but also knows that in order for the 'care of the self' to become emancipatory, alternative approaches must be constructed that would jettison the truth-basis of confession and make an immanent and ethical process imaginable once more. In Technologies of the Self, Foucault suggests that sexuality is often at the core of such processes, since it is within its dominion that one discovers the longest-standing connection between the subject and truth. Thus, contrary to "the associations of prohibition and strong incitations to speak [that is] a constant feature of our culture",27 he argues that paradoxically, the absence of audibility and visibility might enable a different space of resistance, one capable of refusing both the incitation and the prohibition at once, one that proceeds only by the vicissitudes of desire itself and not, in the fashion of the modern citizen-subject, by 'knowing who we are'.28

This alternative process of subjectification becomes particularly interesting in Edith Wyschogrod's take on the Foucauldian redeployment of Stoic askesis, which she puts into dialogue with the valorization in Heidegger of 'anxiety', as a being-towards-death within which one might attain a certain relationship to freedom, a 'getting free of oneself' that is crucial for any attempt at self-transformation, particularly one centered upon a politics of radical pluralization.29 As she puts it, "applied to Heidegger, askesis in this sense can be envisaged as a disciplined questioning of the meaning of Being, language and truth, when applied to Foucault, as a probing of strategies for the formation and reinvention of the self".30 Rather than being overtly concerned with the verbalization of one's truth, as in a penitential humiliation ritual, Wyschogrod's pathmarks suggest a discipline of silence, a listening that makes the incalculability and singularity of one's own being sensible to oneself. Therefore, just as Heidegger suggests that the essence of technology is nothing technological, and that indeed, it is only within its dispensation, which began with the pre-Socratics, that one might discover the 'saving-power', Foucault looks to the continually-increasing danger of self-examination as the production of a positively-conceived self in the West, and finds, after Plato and just prior to post-Constantinian Christianity, a Stoic askesis in which it is the process of questioning itself that allows for one's transformation, one that is not so much a journey between two statically-conceived points of 'departure' and 'arrival', as it is of an openness to the continuity of becoming. Wyschogrod argues further that, because both Foucault and Heidegger are concerned with the question of intentionality, and thus of the ways in which a will to truth becomes a will to total control, "an emancipatory askesis must somehow be will-less",31 and thus conceived quite apart from the Platonic-Christian injunction to 'know thyself', preferring instead a phenomenological consideration of 'beings as a whole'. The triumph that they seek then, is not one of total mastery, but rather one in which the 'common-sense' of not letting being be, becomes suddenly and radically estranged, such that the enframing is momentarily unconcealed and the saving-power of 'an askesis driven by mortality' becomes activated.33

This then, is why an approach such as that championed by Judith Butler, in which Freud and Lacan become surreptitiously grafted onto Foucault, without, in that movement, giving up their confessional foundation, cannot, in the final analysis, provide for the kind of radically pluralizing subjectification that would be needed in order to overcome the individualizing and totalizing hegemony of the modern citizen-subject. Indeed, as Wyschogrod herself suggests, the conceptual interarticulation between Foucault and Heidegger, which is what enables her provocative conceptualization of an emancipatory askesis, surfaced first in Foucault's inaugural publications from 1954, Dream and Existence and Mental Illness and Psychology, texts that are not easily reconciled with Freud or his psychoanalytic progeniture. It was within these writings that we are first introduced to the German phenomenological psychologist Ludwig Binswanger, whose Heideggerian approach inspired Foucault insofar as it ruptured the Freudian dogma of the preexisting subject, whose consciousness/unconsciousness split must be teased out of the analysand, decrying this as a 'hermeneutics of suspicion' that should instead be approached through the valorization of lived experience and the contextualizing of 'truths' within the ever-changing frames of space and time.34 While Butler suggests a contrary interpretation more compatible with the psychoanalysis she continues to value, a careful reading of his work on the does not seem to back this up, particularly since what she calls 'confession' is actually a private affair that one undertakes at the end of the day, examining one's actions and not one's thoughts, that is to say, one's existence and not one's essence. Indeed, what other conclusion can be drawn from his provocative question at the end of Mental Illness and Psychology, in which he enquires, "if this subjectivity of the insane is both a call to and an abandonment of the world, is it not of the world itself that we should ask the secret of its enigmatic status? Is there not in mental illness a whole nucleus of significations that belongs to the domain in which it appeared – and, to begin with, the simple fact that it is in that domain that it is circumscribed as an illness?"35

I would like then, while keeping in mind the continuous attention that Foucault gave to the question of the subject, to reread the Pauline epistles not as a technology of the self, as in the gnothi sautoun that Platonism and post-Constantinian Christianity deployed as 'confessional', but rather as askesis in the Stoic form of epimelesthai sautou, in which, in a way that connects with Foucault's theory of governmentality, as well as Jacob Taubes' suggestion that 'it is not Greek that Paul spoke, but Yiddish'. Beginning from this precept, it becomes immediately evident in Paul that is not the love of law that confronts the subjectivization of the modern citizen-subject, but rather the law of love, such that the ontological difference of community trumps the epistemological homogeneity of identity. This can be seen for instance, in the Letter to the Corinthians, where he suggests that regardless of what we might gain in the world, whether knowledge, power or esteem, if we do not possess love we will finally amount to nothing; indeed, our very tongues will cease to be intelligible, resonating only as if they were a 'noisy gong or clanging cymbal'. He insists that of faith, hope and love, it is the latter that is the greatest; 'love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.' In fact, in a manner that approaches a Spinozan pantheism, Paul argues that its presence is so ubiquitous that every instance of a 'thing' is actually a mere partiality internal to it, for "we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part, but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end". Thus, when in the Letter to Romans, Paul states with such force, "do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind", we can understand this as a certain kind of askesis, that need not be understood as asceticism. If in the Pauline, and I do not say 'Christian' dispensation, love is the 'greatest' and is indeed the only 'law' deserving of our respect, it seems clear that this is because it's the only "universalism [that] supposes one be able to think the multiple not as a part, but as in excess of itself, as that which is out of place, as a nomadism of gratuitousness".36 In other words, as Badiou argues, while the modern state is the manifestation of the law of the particular masquerading as universal, such that it ultimately appears as a 'false' universal, love is the law of the universal whose universality is always in excess of itself, such that it can be understood as a 'concrete universal'. "Considered in its particularity, that of the works it prescribes, the law blocks the subjectification of grace's universal address as pure conviction, or faith. The law 'objectifies' salvation and forbids one from relating it to the gratuitousness of the Christ-event".37 In this sense then, we can understand how 'love', insofar as it invokes the possibility of a relationality that is without a concept insofar as it is 'universal', might be juxtaposed to 'identity' as the capture of the immanent multiplicity of love.38 The political implication of this reading of the meaning of love is ultimately one of askesis or 'desubjectivization', insofar as it denotes an opening to one's own singularity, through an essentially monotheistic ontology that precisely because of its universality, is also the only form of power that is without exception; "the One is only insofar as it is for all, and follows not from the law, but from the event".39 Given this reading, in all its Marxian inflection, we can discern that while its call is "essentially [for] the abolition of the law, which was nothing but the empire of death", it nevertheless avoids absolute immanence, since "it seems necessary to distinguish between a legalizing subjectivization, which is a power of death, and a law raised up by faith, which belongs to the spirit and to life".40

It is this theologized conception of law as the Oneness of 'revolutionary love' then, that Žižek embraces, because rather than continuing its pagan definition as an equality between interlocutors, after the Christ-event love acquires a unilateral imbalance, one that necessarily breaks with the logic of exchange.41 Paul's 'gift of love' then, as the relevant passage from the Letter to the Corinthians is entitled, is one that radically prioritizes its universality over every other dimension of life, but paradoxically concludes that in the end, none of these are of importance anyway since they all facilitate our ignorance that 'all we have is love'. Thus if the meaning of faith, hope and love are read in conjunction, according to Žižek, one is left with the latter as a concept of finitude, because, as the epistles clearly state, it is only 'when the complete comes' that it will prevail, which is also why he argues, in a manner that recalls Wyschogrod's deployment of Heidegger, that the death-drive is emancipatory insofar as it inspires one to live life in the present of 'now-time'.  However, in characteristic hyperbole, Žižek then attempts to construct a parallel between the early 'Christian' movement and the Russian Revolution; "after confirming Jesus' death and resurrection, Paul goes on to his true Leninist business, that of organizing the new party called the Christian community…was not Paul, like Lenin, the great 'institutionalizer', and as such reviled by the partisans of 'original' Marxism-Christianity?"42 Perhaps it is here that we ought to recall the suggestion in the epigraph to Agamben's Homo Sacer, which implied that the Pauline embrace of difference as love might well serve as an alternative paradigm to the camps as the Western logic of the sovereign Same, in regards to which Badiou argued that to the contrary, what we ought to have learned from Paul's theology of love is that "the death camp produces exorbitant differences at every instant, that it turns the slightest fragment of reality into an absolute difference between life and death".43 While both claim to advocate the interpretation of Paul as the advocate of 'love against law', perhaps what we are brought to in this remark is a theopolitical tension between what we might characterize as the 'Marxist Christianity' of Badiou and Žižek on the one hand, which because the source of domination is primarily within capitalism, wants to destroy every cultural identity that might block the formation of a global proletarian subjectivity, and the 'anarchist Judaism' of Taubes and Agamben on the other, in which, because power functions as a network through an irreducible multiplicity of sites, advocates alternative deployments of Paul which allow him to be both the apostle of singularity and the 'schizophrenic revolutionary' of multiple identities.44

While many aspects of the Christianity deployed by Badiou and Žižek within a Marxian register are certainly worth integrating into the critique of the modern secular state, I would argue that one might also shed some light on why the radical Judaic interpretation of Paul parts ways with it, by recalling that just as the Anabaptists point to Paul and Jesus as the foundation of their own radical break, anarchists such as Peter Kropotkin, despite his own secularism, in turn points to the Anabaptist tradition as the primary forerunner of the impulse later 'completed' in anarchist thought. If we are to keep this in mind, the question of whether the Marxist Christianity of Badiou and Žižek is not too heavily indebted to that which was deployed by the Holy Roman Empire, the monarchies and even the bourgeoisie against the cultural difference of both the Anabaptists and the Jews cannot be avoided.45 From this vantage point then, in which Jesus, Paul and the Anabaptists are recast as the 'pre-secular' founders of what Kropotkin summarized as 'a society to which pre-established forms, crystallized by law, are repugnant', the hermeneutic anchor which facilitates such a reading of such epistles as the Letter to the Romans is necessarily dragged from the infamous passage which holds that 'those authorities which exist have been instituted by God' across practically every other paragraph of the epistle, in which Paul's words attack the hegemony of the 'stumbling-stone' of law as territorializing identity and valorize instead the radical grace of divine love. It is in this sense then, that Taubes, who "proposes a new universalism which undermines the legitimacy of every political order, whether imperial or theocratic",46 suggested that the epistle is essentially a 'declaration of war' in opposition to Empire as such, as seen in the way that he begins his letter by addressing his words to "all God's beloved in Rome who are called to be saints",47 initiating in that phrase a divide between those who willingly bow to the subjectification imposed by imperial power and those who would conspire against it by subverting their own identities through the askesis that the epistles ultimately are. In stark contrast to the authoritarianism, identitarianism and xenophobia common to the Roman Empire, 'Christendom' and the post-Reformation state, Paul goes on to say that "you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things".48 Thus he begins the argument against territorialized identity and for what Agamben might refer to as an 'absolute immanence', that opposes government as such, and in particular that of the then prevalent Holy Roman Empire and all of the subjectivities with which it forced its 'population' to identify.

The contradiction of imperial legalism then, for radical 'Christians' and Jews alike, is that "it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who are justified. When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law unto themselves, even though they do not have the law".49 Often then, as Scholem's example of the Shabbatean heresy illustrates in the positive sense, no less than does the bloody suppression of the Anabaptists by Luther and the Catholic Church in the negative sense, it is precisely those 'who boast in the law' that are most contrary to it, while those who are supposedly outside of it are actually the closest to its spirit. Living his life in opposition to Leviathan, Paul is indeed what Daniel Boyarin first described as a 'radical Jew', but because he is speaking in the wake of the Christ-event, he is also 'without a concept', another reason why he might be taken as an early Spinozan, since he too "exempts the power of thinking from the obligation to obey, and takes care, in its own interest, not to subject thought to the rule of the State".50 The critical nature of his approach to political subjectivity becomes exceedingly clear when he argues, 'If a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal".51 Importantly, this is also one of the first passages after the Letter to the Corinthians in which we are directed to the primacy of the love over law, which is reaffirmed in his argument that "the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law"52 such that in turn, "a man is justified by faith apart from works of law".53 Although its true that he then proceeds to argue that it is not overthrown by faith alone, this statement can be read as a resignification of 'law' as such, perhaps akin to Agamben's suggestion that "one day humanity will play with law just as children play with disused toys",54 such that while the law of man is displaced, only the law of God is affirmed, which is really not a 'law' because it abolishes law as such. Thus when Paul says that God is not only the God of Jews but also of Gentiles, and that not only the circumcised who have faith will be saved, but also the uncircumcised who have faith, we can conclude that contra Badiou, it is not universality that he is ultimately after, but rather a singularity in which identity becomes fluid, available to subjects, not as an apparatus of capture but rather as 'disused toys'. This introduces a conception of political community in which a multiplicity that is immanent rather than transcendent prevails, which is why it has often been suggested that "Paul is striving to articulate a de-centering of the subject".55 The further question that might be asked then, if we were to return to that of whether the camps are ultimately the product of an ontology of absolute difference (Badiou) or absolute universality (Agamben), is whether that decentering necessarily means the complete erasure of identity or instead the explosion of the centrality afforded for so long to the citizen-subject; it seems clear that as prescient as it might be, the question is largely being considered apart from lived experience, since part of what makes up our 'singularity' is precisely the unique relationship that we negotiate with a multiplicity of identities that are always already interpellating us.56 The very fact that those who are rereading Paul today tend to embrace either a primarily Christian or Judaic interpretation, despite a rhetorical approach that would suggest its negation, is the perhaps the best possible evidence of how identity and difference are so thoroughly woven into one another that a 'complete' unraveling is something of an illusion.

The problem of 'love' then, is not how to reinscribe a concept of universality, but rather how we might negotiate ontological difference in a way that neither reinforces the hegemony of the modern citizen-subject, nor tells others how they ought or ought not identify themselves. Yet there is still the enigma of Romans 12, whereby, despite the fact that the 'stumbling-stone' of law cannot continue to serve as the basis of justice, since "Christ is the end of the law, that everyone who has faith may be justified",57 in Romans 12, where we are given a list of behaviors that are supposed to characterize the ideal figure that Paul has in mind – 'one body in Christ', 'love your enemies', 'practice hospitality', etc. – is immediately followed by the seemingly incongruous command to "let every person be subject to the governing authorities".58 As is often noted, this injunction runs directly counter to the privileging of love against the law that we find throughout the first half of the Letter to the Romans, as well as the other epistles; however, if we consider this in the Agambenian sense of law as 'disused toys', particularly in light of the passage in which he says 'there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God', this can be interpreted as a way of reaffirming the earlier statement, such that it is not law but love that is of utmost importance. While the authority of the sword is described in Romans 13 as having descended from the authority of God, and as Luther would have it, the citizen-subjects of sovereign power are therefore called to subject themselves to it, immediately following this passage we find the statement which places the law of God and of Man in opposition, "he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law".59 If then, we can conclude that Pauline love is of such a nature that while 'Christ is the end of the law' he is not the end of identity as such,60 perhaps by valorizing the Pauline notion of love, we might be able to avoid the multiple violences that always seem to attend 'citizen' identities; with this in mind we can return to Taubes' prescient suggestion that "love means that I am not centered in myself…but rather: I have a need. The other person is needed. I can't do without the other…the point in Paul is that even in perfection I am not an I, but we are a we".61


1 Which French officials referred to as the most serious social upheaval the country has seen since the Events of May 1968.
2 WENN, "Johnny Depp: I Can't Stay in Riot-Torn France", MediaGab Available: http://www.mediagab.com/story.asp?id=1912
3 As will become clear in the structure of this essay, Foucault distinguishes between subjectivization, the process through one is produced positively as a subject of power, whether through one's own actions or those of others, and subjectification, the process through which one produces oneself in ways that resist this subjectivization.
4 J. Seaver, Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-438). (University of Kansas Publications: Lawrence, 1952).

5 M. Foucault, "Governmentality", in G. Burchell, C. Gordon and P. Miller, eds., The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality (University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1991), 104
6 Althusser also argued in "The Humanist Controversy" that Marx had been remiss to ignore Max Stirner's critique of Feuerbach and the 'religion of man', which he felt did not sufficiently shake off the Christian ideological heritage of the subject, particularly being that 'man and the citizen' had become indissolubly linked by the French Revolution.
7 While some might say that its only with Discipline and Punish that the theory of the subject begins, I would point out that already in his earliest published works from 1954, Foucault was critiquing the psychoanalytic notion of the subject as one with an already-existing 'truth' endemic to it, with a phenomenological critique derived from Husserl and Heidegger, in which it was existence rather than essence that was of interest in terms of constitution.

8 In this paper, I use the term Christianity, without scare quotes, to refer to the recuperated version of it which emerged in the wake of the Nicene Code, while what is generally referred to as 'early Christianity' from the pre-Constantinian period, I place in scare quotes so as to indicate that the signified of that signifier did not really exist as such until after being redeployed by the Roman Empire.
9 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, (Routledge: New York, 1999), 154
10 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, 156
11 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, 157
12 J. Butler, "Bodily Confessions", Undoing Gender (London: Routledge, 2004), 162. While Butler recognizes that "the organization of modern political power maintains and recirculates some elements from Christian institutions, and so something Foucault names 'pastoral power' survives into late modern institutions", she ignores the crucial distinction that he makes between the Stoic and Platonic-Christian forms of self-examination, focusing only on the latter without naming it as such, which ultimately leads her to erroneously suggest that, "Foucault recanted his account of pastoral power, and...in his later work, he retuned to the history of the confession in late antiquity only to find that it was not administered exclusively in the service of regulation and control". The problem with this argument, is that in partitioning between gnothi sauton and epimelesthai sautou, Foucault was not investigating two separate forms of 'confession', but rather between self-examination, in which the self is constituted through a relationship to a spatiotemporally-enframed concept of truth that is external to one's 'soul' on the one hand, and confession, in which it is precisely the reverse that is the case on the other.
13 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, 159
14 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, 162: "The contact point, where the individuals are driven by others is tied to the way they conduct themselves, is what we can call, I think government. Governing people, in the broad meaning of the word, governing people is not a way to force people to do what the governor wants; it is always a versatile equilibrium, with complementarity and conflicts between techniques which assure coercion and processes through which the self is constructed or modified by oneself".
15 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, 163. Noting that the primary difference is that between pagan and Christian practices of self-examination, he argues that "if for the government of people in our societies, everyone had not only to obey but also to produce and publish the truth about oneself, then examination of conscience and confession are among the most important of those procedures".
16 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, 169
17 P. Brown, Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman World (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1995), 4. It was through this facilitating representation that they inscribed what Brown calls a 'firm narrative' about the events of the Fourth Century.
18 P. Brown, 13
19 P. Brown, 16
20 P. Brown, 17
21 P. Brown, 19
22 P. Brown, 22
23 P. Brown, 33
24 P. Brown, 39
25 P. Brown, 50: "If violence was to happen, it was essential that the traditional elites should not lose the monopoly of such violence. They did not want it to slip into the hands of erratic outsiders...[thus] the grassroots violence of the monks was probably less important than the controlled violence of Theodosius' determination to be finished with paganism. But it was the violence of which one was still free to talk".

26 M. Foucault, Religion and Culture, 157
27 M. Foucault, Technologies of the Self, (University of Massachusetts Press: Amherst, 1988), 17
28 Here I immediately think of the contrast between the corporate and state-sponsored 'Gay Pride' parades and events that take place annually in American cities, and the relatively new anti-identitarian homosexual group 'Gay Shame', which participates in the parades, but as a dramatized critique of their overemphasis on 'identity', which they suggest has increasingly allowed them to become captured in the circuits of capital.
29 E. Wyschogrod, "Heidegger, Foucault and the Askeses of Self-Transformation", in Heidegger and Foucault: Critical Encounters (University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, 2003), 284: "Were one to view Heidegger's account of mortality in Being and Time through the lens of Foucault, it might be seen as an exhumation of Dasein's finitude as a fundamental possibility of its existence that Dasein must take upon itself as an askesis in the interest of liberating itself from socially constructed views...what is at stake is the very Being-in-the-World of the Dasein...revealed to it not cognitively, but through anxiety. Such anxiety is not a failing of Dasien, but a basic mood grounded in a fundamental comportment, that of Care". In this regard, I am tempted to reflect at length upon the Agnes Varda film Cleo From 5 to 7, in which a young girl awaits results from a medical lab that may indicate that she has cancer, and for two hours wanders through the streets of Paris, struggling both with her fears and her desire to finally, in the possible last moments, 'really live' – the 'getting free of onself' that the film captures, seems to be a strong example of how holding onto anxiety, rather than constantly trying to cover it up, can often reveal emancipatory potentialities that are otherwise concealed. However, for the time-being, I will leave it at that.
30 E. Wyschogrod, 276. Such a reinvention does not in the slightest intend to resuscitate the classical gnothi sauton (know thyself) that has dominated the Western imagination for so long now, with all of its renunciations of the body and its pleasures, but instead seeks to render forth a new form of epimilesthai sautou (take care of yourself), that, in the wake of its concealment in the 'Christian' dispensation, might allow for the maximization of pleasure, through the struggle between ars erotica and scientia sexualis.
31 E. Wyschogrod, 280. The subtraction of 'willing' of course, breaks with the logic of instrumentality in a way that, for Foucault, redeploys sexuality no longer as the received notion that there is such a thing as the 'pure sexual encounter', but rather as a way of Being-in-the-World in which, for instance, homosexuals – and, conceivably, anyone else – rethink the sorts of relations in which they engage, through the primacy of friendship, a non-instrumental form of interaction, less concerned with what one is than with what one desires – or, in Heideggerian terms, "letting whatever is sleeping become wakeful". Thus, while Augustine is overtly concerned with mastering the involuntary movements of the body, such as for instance, the spontaneous erection, Wyschogord's deployment of Foucualt and Heidegger embrace this eros, as an alternative way of thinking freedom from that with which the liberal modern state has made us familiar. 
33 E. Wyschogrod, 285. She emphasizes however, that a mortality-based askesis is one that is not characterized by the fear of a particular object of threat, but rather by "a mood that disengages one from the world...to reveal what is already there and for which one has anxiety, namely Dasein itself". It is in this sense, what Heidegger described in his writings on the work of art, as a 'worlding' in which what was originally conceived as object comes to be understood as subject – the artwork then, as event rather than thing.
34 M. Foucault, Mental Illness and Psychology (University of California Press: Berkeley, 1976), 9:  "In any case, whether its first designations are organic or psychological, the illness concerns the overall situation of the individual in the world; instead of being a physiological or psychological essence, the illness is a general reaction of the individual taken in his psychological and physiological totality. In all these recent forms of medical analysis, therefore, one can read a single meaning: the more one regards the unity of the human being as a whole, the more the reality of an illness as a specific unity disappears and the more the description of the individual reacting to his situation in a pathological way replaces the analysis of the natural forms of the illness...my aim...is to show that mental pathology requires methods of analysis different from those of organic pathology and that it is only by an artifice of language that the same meaning can be attributed to 'illness of the body' and 'illness of the mind'. A unitary pathology using the same methods and concepts in the psychological and physiological domains is now purely mythical, even if the unity of body and mind is in the order of reality".
35 M. Foucault, Mental Illness and Psychology, 56
36 A. Badiou, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (Stanford University Press: Stanford, 2003), 78
37 A. Badiou, 75
38 A. Badiou, 78. Badiou argues here that "the opposition grace/law encompasses two doctrines of the multiple", in which the former is a multiplicity that "exceeding itself, upholds universality", while the latter is a multiplicity that is "marked by the predicate of its own limit".
39 A. Badiou, 81. Earlier in the book he argues that "monotheism can be understood only by taking into consideration the whole of humanity. Unless addressed to all, the One crumbles and disappears. But for Paul, the law always designates a particularity, hence a difference. It is not possible for it to be an operation of the One, because it addresses its fallacious ‘One’ only to those who acknowledge and practice the injunctions it specifies".
40 A. Badiou, 88. Thus, "law returns as life’s articulation for everyone, path of faith, law beyond law. This is what Paul calls love".
41 J. Delpech-Ramey, "An Interview With Slavoj Žižek: On Divine Self-Limitation and Revolutionary Love" Journal of Philosophy and Scripture 1:2. Available: http://www.philosophyandscripture.org/Issue1-2/Slavoj_Žižek/slavoj_Žižek.html
42 S. Žižek, 9
43 A. Badiou, 109. Indeed he insists that "the Nazis’ production of exterminatory abattoirs obeyed the opposite principle: the ‘meaning’ proper to the mass production of Jewish corpses was that of delimiting the existence of the master race as absolute difference. The address to the other of the ‘as oneself’ (love the other as yourself) was what the Nazis wanted to abolish".

44 A. Badiou, 103. The point at which this tension between radical Christian and Judaic Paulinism is the strongest is when Badiou argues that "Paul did not much like Moses, man of the letter and the law. By contrast, he readily identifies with Abraham…first because he was elected by God solely by virtue of his faith, before the law (which was engraved for Moses, Paul notes, ‘four hundred and thirty years later’); second because the promise that accompanies his election pertains to ‘all the nations’ rather than to Jewish descendants alone. Abraham thereby anticipates what could be called a universalism of the Jewish site; in other words, he anticipates Paul".
45 P. Kropotkin, Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings (Dover Publications: Mineola, 2002), 124: "This conception and ideal of society is certainly not new. On the contrary, when we analyze the history of popular institutions – the clan, the village community, the guild and even the urban commune of the middle ages in their first stages – we find the same popular tendency to constitute a society according to this idea; a tendency, however, always trammeled by domineering minorities. All popular movements bore this stamp more or less, and with the Anabaptists and their forerunners in the ninth century we already find the same ideas clearly expressed in the religious language which was in use at that time". Links could probably be made to Tolstoy in this regard as well, particularly insofar as the Anabaptists were largely also pacifists, as he most was in his well-known argument that ‘government is violence’.

46 A. Cignac, "Taubes, Badiou, Agamben: Reception of Paul by Non-Christian Philosophers Today". Available: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/religious_studies/SBL2002/Philos.htm
47 Romans 1:7

48 Romans 2:1

49 Romans 2:14

50 G. Deleuze, Spinoza: Practical Philosophy (City Lights: San Francisco, 1988), 4. Deleuze’s book on Spinoza is particularly interesting for the richness of its political theological insights, a region into which he rarely ventured, but the comparison of that with what we have attempted here in regards to Paul would have constituted an entire essay in itself.
51 Romans 2:29

52 Romans 3:21

53 Romans 3:28

54 G. Agamben, State of Exception, (University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2005), 64. The full quote reads, "one day humanity will play with law just as children play with disused objects, not in order to restore them to their canonical use but to free them from it for good. What is found after the law is not a more proper and original use value that precedes the law, but a new use that is born only after it. And use, which has been contaminated by law, must also be freed from its own value. This liberation is the task of study, or of play".

55 A. Badiou, 83: "For Paul, it is of utmost importance to declare that I am justified only insofar as everyone is. Of course, hope concerns me. But this means that I identify myself in my singularity as subject of the economy of salvation only insofar as this economy is universal…[thus] there is singularity only insofar as there is universality. Failing that, outside of truth, only particularity".
56 H. Timms, "Review of 'Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism'" Skandalon 1:1, 2005. While his critique might be as nuanced as it could be, insofar as it defends a particular form of Judaism as representative of the whole, its nevertheless worth nothing that in his review, Timms suggests that Badiou’s critique is similar to that of Luther and Calvin against the Catholic Church; "by presenting the Jewish and the Greek as dominant discourses, both Badiou and Paul obscure the fact that in Paul’s time, the dominant discourse is the Roman…the Badiou/Paul anti-culturalist, anti-Jewish, anti-Greek invective attacks what are in fact subordinate and/or minoritarian discourses and attempts to destroy these discourses as possible sites of resistance…he fails to understand, ironically, that the Jewish community is formed not from subordination to a legal code, but through a shared, subjective experience of the covenant as event".
57 Romans 10:4

58 Romans 13:1

59 Romans 13:8

60 So long as its particularity remains in the singular and does not territorialize itself through an apparatus of violence.

61 J. Taubes, 56

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