Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Against St. Paul


If there's one thing that reveals to me the poverty of contemporary left thinking, it's the way Agamben, Badiou, Zizek and now, I'm hearing it on YouTube as I write this, Simon Critchley, bang on about St. Paul as if he was the greatest man to change his mind, ever.

Come on. Paul was and is used by Evangelicals as a big stick to beat people with—that's what I remember from all the Bible studies I had the misfortune of attending, when I was briefly peer-pressured into Christianity at age 13. At a school called St. Paul's...believe me the school was not into revolution.

Doesn't it enable these guys to sound pious? Spilt religion anyone?

And another thing. The amazingness of his changing his mind must have something to do with the amazingness of the contents of his mind. If you really aren't into Christianity I would have thought it would be a better idea not to keep on reproducing the Paul meme. Does anyone else feel this way? I mean I've just had it with this Paul stuff!

6 comments:

Dave Mesing said...

Have you read much of the Paul stuff? I haven't read it all, but Badiou's book is interesting, and Agamben's is exception. I'm not sure if you are saying that books on Paul should be prima facie rejected or if there is something wrong with how contemporary thinkers are writing about him.

Timothy Morton said...

Yes, I've read all. I have a visceral reaction of disgust to all of it.

Dave Mesing said...

Why? Just because it's about Paul?

Guillermo said...

Made me remember Cioran: "We can never punish [St. Paul] enough for making Christianity impolite, for saddling it with the nastiest traditions of the Old Testament: intolerance, brutality, provincialism. He was the first barker of the Greco-Roman world. Whenever I am at a loss for a scapegoat, I open the Epistles and am quickly reassured. I have my man, and he rouses me to a fury."
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,902270,00.html

Peter said...

Yes, Cioran can help... And yet his negative perspective, even while true, just reminds me all the more to keep returning to Buddhism. Buddhas have a nicer way of wiping down the mud from you, as well as wiping your ass for you, and then setting you on your way again... at least, if you can't help jumping right back into the mud puddle, you have a better sense what it is (and isn't).

Peter said...
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