CFP: [Religion] CFP: ACLA 2009 Seminar: The Political Theologies of Paul of Tarsus (11/1/08; Harvard U, 3/26/09-3/29/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Julia Ng
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The Political Theologies of Paul of Tarsus

   * Seminar Organizer: Julia Ng, Northwestern U; Virgil Brower,
Northwestern U and Chicago Theological Seminary; Markus Hardtmann,
Centre College

The figure of Paul dominates the self-understanding of Western
political and social institutions as Judeo-Christian in their
heritage; its significance extends beyond purely religious concerns.
The recent resurgence of interest in Paul among theologians,
philosophers, and political theorists also attests to the importance
of Pauline theology for the contemporary socio-political realm. This
"globalization" of Paul has in no small part been enabled by the
recognition that Paul's concern for law and justice has little to do
with individual salvation or private righteousness, and rather more
with its own "globalization" of a "local" context: the decaying Roman
empire, in which "nationality" consisted in a multiplicity of "ethnoi"
hoping for a justice to come beyond any particular instantiation of
justice by law. Taking the plurality and multilingualism of peoples
and faiths underlying Paul's universalizing aspirations as a
departure, this seminar invites papers to explore and elaborate on any
aspect of the politicization and radicalization of his thought.
Possible topics include: How does the recent focus on Paul â€" in texts
by Agamben, Badiou, Derrida and Taubes, for instance â€" seek to renew a
critical language of authority, hospitality, community and
universality within contemporary philosophical and political
discourse? To what extent do these political theologies join or part
ways with other interpretive communities such as psychoanalysis and
Latin American liberation theology? How might translation â€" by Paul,
by his exegetes from Origen to Barth â€" help (re)draw political
boundaries in Pauline discourse? Does the engagement with Paul in
literature and film by Hölderlin, Hebel, Kafka, Pasolini or others
challenge the exegetical tradition, or does the local character of
interpretation participate in Paul's epistolary message about radical

Please submit paper proposals by Nov. 1 directly through the ACLA website at:

For further information, please contact Julia Ng
( or visit the conference website at:

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Received on Mon Sep 22 2008 - 19:22:19 EDT