Kohti ulossulkematonta poliittista yhteisöä. Tapaus Paavali

Towards a non-exclusive political community. The case of St. Paul

This article analyses St. Paul's letters in the context of political philosophy. These letters are conceived as opening up a wholly new horizon for the tradition of the political in the West. Politics was introduced in classical Greece both in thought and practice, and without Plato and Aristotle we would not have politics as we now understand it. However, because of his conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, St. Paul is the first to take seriously the task of going beyond exclusive national identities, especially those of Jews and non-Jews, in order to save all human beings. For sure, Hellenistic philosophers already tried to surpass the eternal war between different peoples and different identities with the help of the universal nomos of reason. Nevertheless, Paul's thinking radically differs from Hellenistic philosophy to the extent that whereas in Hellenism – and in Stoicism especially – indisputable differences are merely denied (universal identity of cosmopolites of true reason), the operation (katargeo: I inactivate) that Paul's Jesus the Messiah performs does not destroy differences (difference between different religious-national identities) but rather makes them inoperative. Different identities are not denied, they are just left in abeyance: a Jew as though not (hos me).

Login Form