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A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society)
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A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity (Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society) [Format Kindle]

Daniel Boyarin

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Daniel Boyarin turns to the Epistles of Paul as the spiritual autobiography of a first-century Jewish cultural critic. What led Paul—in his dramatic conversion to Christianity—to such a radical critique of Jewish culture?

Paul's famous formulation, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, no male and female in Christ," demonstrates the genius of Christianity: its concern for all people. The genius of Judaism is its validation of genealogy and cultural, ethnic difference. But the evils of these two thought systems are the obverse of their geniuses: Christianity has threatened to coerce universality, while ethnic difference is one of the most troubled issues in modern history.

Boyarin posits a "diaspora identity" as a way to negotiate the pitfalls inherent in either position. Jewishness disrupts categories of identity because it is not national, genealogical, or even religious, but all of these, in dialectical tension with one another. It is analogous with gender: gender identity makes us different in some ways but not in others.

An exploration of these tensions in the Pauline corpus, argues Boyarin, will lead us to a richer appreciation of our own cultural quandaries as male and female, gay and straight, Jew and Palestinian—and as human beings.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.8 étoiles sur 5  5 commentaires
24 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Daniel, Be Mindful of Your Audience 28 avril 2004
Par Danusha V. Goska - Publié sur
I'm a fan of Boyarin's work. There's much to admire. For example, he takes a progressive attitude towards issues of gender, including the status of women and of homosexuals, and he takes this stance as an Orthodox Jew. As a church-going Catholic who actively supports Gay Rights, I admire Boyarin both for his faith and for his support of gender non-conforming people.
In a world of intolerant, rigid, and destrucitve so-called "fundamentalists" and "fundamentalisms" insisting that there is ONLY ONE way to read a text or a tradition, including scripture and the history of Judaism and/or Christianity, insisting that the ONE WAY to read the Judeo-Christian tradition is to read it as male supremacist and oppressive, I greatly appreciate that Boyarin says, as he says so clearly in his introduction to this work and in another book, "Unheroic Conduct," that there are many ways to read texts and traditions.
For example, as Boyarin says here, if one uses as one's starting point in Paul the verse, "In Christ there is no male; there is no female; there is no slave nor free man" one will read Paul very differently than others who see, in Paul, an oppressor who upheld slavery and the oppression of women.
I also admire Boyarin's wide-ranging store of knowledge, his humanity, his enthusiasm, and his humor.
And he takes on issues that this reader enjoys reading about.
On the other hand, and it is a big other hand, Boyarin is a self-indulgent writer who has lived a sheltered, purely academic life. He writes as, one imagines, he would talk when talking to someone who shares his interests, his references, his enthusiasms, as closely as would a doppleganger or an imaginary best friend.
Boyarin just about never shows any consideration for any audience who might not be an exact duplicate of him.
So, the reader has to slog through paragraphs or pages not knowing what Boyarin is talking about, not because the ideas at play are all that complex -- they never really are -- but because neither Boyarin nor his editors have taken the time to frame what Boyarin is saying in a way that will be readily understood by someone who is not sharing the exact same brainpan as Boyarin himself.
Oh, how I wish there were an edited version of Boyarin's books, in which references that need not be obscure are presented in a way so that someone who has not lunched with the exact same clique of grad students that Boyarin has lunched with would be able to grasp what Boyarin is saying, without reaching for outside references -- which, sadly, I always have to do when reading Boyarin -- or slogging through his endless, and, yes, self-indulgent footnotes.
This is a positive review. Boyarin is, again, well educated, enthusiastic, and he takes a humanist approach from a tradition, the Judeo-Christian tradition, that too often has been used as an excuse to oppress others. His work is a marvelous antidote to intolerant "fundamentalisms" and "fundamentalists."
But, Daniel, if you would -- please be a bit more mindful of your audience. Making your work more readily accessible would be a very good thing, because the wider world -- the one outside of Berkeley -- greatly needs voices like yours.
17 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Penetrating reading of Paul's gospel 14 janvier 2001
Par Christopher W. Coffman - Publié sur
I hesitate to contradict the highly qualified reader who considers this book a masterpiece. Indeed, the book should be read widely, as it is a penetrating and sensitive reading of the Apostle Paul's work, and it surfaces and analyses some key issues, such as the likelihood that what led to Paul's Damascus experience was his search for an answer to the question of how the One God of Israel could deliver salvation to all the world, not just Jews but also Gentiles. Boyarin's work is thoughtful and generous (although there is more bite in his footnotes than in the text itself). Boyarin considers himself a post-modern Talmudic scholar, and it is the influence of Derrida and de Man, however attenuated, that lumbers his otherwise brilliant analysis. Boyarin himself privileges, to use his own post-modern jargon, the theme of "difference" over all the other themes he surfaces. This struck this reader as a passing (post-modern) fad, and these sections will date in a way that the rest of this extremely interesting book will not.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Paul's Treatment of Inclusiveness 17 juin 2014
Par John Hudson - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This is a fun book to read. It is by a Jewish scholar who gets into a great conversation with the reader on what is going on in Paul's mind as he works through as expanding of relating faith to persons regardless of the Jewish requirement such as circumcision. This is a book to talk with and to.
13 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A Radical Jew: The Theology of James Dunn 5 décembre 2007
Par Hezekiah Smith - Publié sur
I have just finished reading this work and I have to say that I am not sure if there was a single thought or idea put for by the author that was his own. On nearly every page, Boyarin references noted theologian and biblical scholar James D.G. Dunn while putting forth his "new view" of Paul. The work is rife with statements such as: "Dunn has got this just right in my opinion" (55), "as Dunn has shown" (88), and " Once again the simplest and most straightforward interpretation of this passage is that of Dunn" (92) just to name a few.

On the book's back cover, a reviewer states "Boyarin's argument turns us into strangers to ourselves", I say that this would be typical since throughout the entire work it seems that Boyarin is a stranger to himself. Look, I know that it is important to reference the work of others, especially in a scholarly work, but come on! My advice would be to get one of the myriad works that Dunn has produced over the years and pass this one over entirely, especially if you prefer to get your information directly from the scholar that 'originally' published it, not someone that is only regurgitating information like a parrot.
1 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Clever 6 décembre 2010
Par Char Rashkover - Publié sur
Interesting assessment of Paul. Boyarin's unique, orthodox, non-Pauline based background makes for a worthwhile perspective.

Useful as a supplement for a multitude of subjects.
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