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Paul against Biopolitics

Paul against Biopolitics As others have argued, modern liberalism can be seen as dominated by the biopolitical. In both the economic and the political realms, this involves a contradictory notion of how the natural gives rise to the cultural and the cultural both suppresses and advances the natural. On either side of this divide, uncontrollable excesses arise, which ensure that this immanentist model is never immune from the return of the theopolitical in a bastardized form. Antique notions of natural justice to some degree escaped these aporias, and yet antiquity had its own version of the biopolitical with its own contradictions: particularly as to whether justice consists in an exchanged balance of legal obligations or a unilateral imposition of equity in the face of living exigencies. Both models of the biopolitical ultimately seek to shore up a doomed finite life in the face of death and hence place limits on the hope for human justice. Only St Paul presented an alternative vision, which makes life itself infinitely indestructible and co-terminous both with meaning and with human existence. His counterfactual of `resurrection' allowed him to imagine an unreserved possibility of human justice beyond legality, which blends equity with hierarchical guidance and makes justice coincide with the entire fulfilment of every human being in relation to all others. Any secular alternative to this is bound to be less radical. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Theory, Culture & Society" SAGE

Paul against Biopolitics

"Theory, Culture & Society" , Volume 25 (7-8): 48 – Dec 1, 2008

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References (48)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0263-2764
eISSN
1460-3616
DOI
10.1177/0263276408097801
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

As others have argued, modern liberalism can be seen as dominated by the biopolitical. In both the economic and the political realms, this involves a contradictory notion of how the natural gives rise to the cultural and the cultural both suppresses and advances the natural. On either side of this divide, uncontrollable excesses arise, which ensure that this immanentist model is never immune from the return of the theopolitical in a bastardized form. Antique notions of natural justice to some degree escaped these aporias, and yet antiquity had its own version of the biopolitical with its own contradictions: particularly as to whether justice consists in an exchanged balance of legal obligations or a unilateral imposition of equity in the face of living exigencies. Both models of the biopolitical ultimately seek to shore up a doomed finite life in the face of death and hence place limits on the hope for human justice. Only St Paul presented an alternative vision, which makes life itself infinitely indestructible and co-terminous both with meaning and with human existence. His counterfactual of `resurrection' allowed him to imagine an unreserved possibility of human justice beyond legality, which blends equity with hierarchical guidance and makes justice coincide with the entire fulfilment of every human being in relation to all others. Any secular alternative to this is bound to be less radical.

Journal

"Theory, Culture & Society"SAGE

Published: Dec 1, 2008

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