The Figure of the Apostle Paul in Contemporary Philosophy (Heidegger, Badiou, Agamben, Zizek)

Erzsebet Kerekes


In this paper, I attempt to discuss the role played by the figure of Apostel Paul inside several texts of four authors: Heidegger, Badiou, Agamben and Zizek. My hypothesis is that Heidegger and the contemporary philosophers do not turn to Apostle Paul guided primarily or exclusively by theological interest or perspectives, yet they pose a great challenge to the religious thought. Heidegger s return to Saint Paul has a philosophical-phenomenological aim: highlighting the carrying structures of the temporality of factic life. Badiou, Agamben and Zizek are interested in Paul as a political personality, a poet-thinker of an Event, who has to enforce a universal singularity both against the current legal abstractions and against communitarian and particularistic claims. They rely on Paul when confronting the postmodernism and when examining what constitutes the political. Against the postmodern doxa (that we live in an age deprived of metaphysical certainties, in an era of contingency and conjectures, in a risk society, in which politics is a matter of strategic judgements and not a matter of references to fundamental cognitive insights), Badiou, Agamben and Zizek aim at the revitalization of the politics of universal truth.


Apostle Paul, Event, hermeneutics, Heidegger, contemporary philosophy, universality, Badiou, Agamben, Zizek.

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