Meek. Mild. As if.
When one reads Saint Paul's epistles, one cannot fail to notice how thoroughly and terribly indifferent
he is toward Jesus as a living person (the Jesus who is not yet Christ, the pre-Easter Jesus, the Jesus of the Gospels) - Paul more or less totally ignores Jesus' particular acts, teachings, parables, all that Hegel later referred to as the mythical element of the fairytale narrative, of the mere prenotional representation [Vorstellung
]; never in his writings does he engage in hermeneutics, in probing into the "deeper meaning" of this or that parable or act of Jesus. What matters to him is not Jesus as a historical figure, only the fact that he died on the Cross and rose from the dead - after confirming Jesus' death and resurrection, Paul goes on to his true Leninist business, that of organizing the new party called the Christian community. Paul as a Leninist: was not Paul, like Lenin, the great "institutionalizer," and, as such, reviled by the partisans of "original" Marxism-Christianity? Does not the Pauline temporality "already, but not yet" also designate Lenin's situation in between the two revolutions, between February and October 1917? Revolution is already behind us, the old regime is out, freedom is here - but
the hard work still lies ahead.
- Slavoj Žižek, "The Puppet and the Dwarf
Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 3, 2005 11:18 AM
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Great quote. I was thinking something similar to this last night as I watched Frontline. It was about the Christianity of G W Bush. If there was ever a Pauline Christian, it is Bush.
Posted by: Greg at January 5, 2005 02:48 PM
The fun thing about Zizek's book is that he is writing a defense of Paul. This parallels his earlier contrarian position in defense of Lenin, hence the quoted material. I cannot say I agree with him on either score but it is an excellent read.
Posted by: Ghost of a flea at January 5, 2005 03:08 PM