A Materialism for the Masses: Saint Paul and the Philosophy of Undying Life by Ward Blanton

A Materialism for the Masses: Saint Paul and the Philosophy of Undying Life

byWard Blanton

Kobo ebook | February 25, 2014

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Nietzsche and Freud saw Christianity as metaphysical escapism, with Nietzsche calling the religion a "Platonism for the masses" and faulting Paul the apostle for negating more immanent, material modes of thought and political solidarity. Integrating this debate with the philosophies of difference espoused by Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ward Blanton argues that genealogical interventions into the political economies of Western cultural memory do not go far enough in relation to the imagined founder of Christianity.

Blanton challenges the idea of Paulinism as a pop Platonic worldview or form of social control. He unearths in Pauline legacies otherwise repressed resources for new materialist spiritualities and new forms of radical political solidarity, liberating "religion" from inherited interpretive assumptions so philosophical thought can manifest in risky, radical freedom.

Ward Blanton is reader in biblical cultures and European thought at the University of Kent in Canterbury.
Title:A Materialism for the Masses: Saint Paul and the Philosophy of Undying LifeFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 25, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231536453

ISBN - 13:9780231536455

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Read from the Book

Read the chapter "Preface to Politics as Materialist Spiritualities":

Table of Contents

Preface to Politics as Materialist Spiritualities: For a Postsecular "Return" of Paulinism
Platonism for the Masses: On the Sacred Cement Shoes of Paul the Apostle
1. Contingency; or, Covenantal Comedy: In Praise of Strange Paulinist Federations
2. On Being Called Dead: Splitting the Imperative of Being
3. Insurrectionist Risk (Paul Among the Parrhesiasts)
4. Singularity; or, Spiritual Exercise (Paul and the Philosophical Immanence of Foucault and Deleuze)
5. Seizures of Chance: Paulinist Agencies in Neocapitalist Contexts
Conclusion: New Beginnings

Editorial Reviews

In this exciting new study, Ward Blanton further solidifies his reputation as the most adventurous and rigorous scholar of his generation as he reimagines the historical meaning and political impetus of early Christianity and its ongoing, indeed increasing, effect on the most enduring philosophical and ethical questions of our time. A worthy successor to his groundbreaking Displacing Christian Origins, the argument of A Materialism for the Masses is deeply original and, once again, compellingly demonstrated. Much has been made in recent years of the return of the idea of communism, the common, and the concept of materialism it must necessarily invoke, perhaps resuscitate. Here Blanton fills an important lacuna in this debate by offering an extensive prolegomenon to any future materialist spirituality that deserves its name. He does so by revisiting the archival source and conceptual apparatus found in St. Paul's New Testament letters and some of the early Church Fathers, among others, whose fortuitous return to actuality under presumed postsecular conditions we have barely begun to comprehend in all of its promise and no less pertinent peril. He demonstrates that reviving the political Paul neither commits us to the reductive materialisms nor to otherworld religiosities of old but prepares us for a world without foreseeable limits or end, a world in which we may once again come to believe--that is to say, an eternal life for which we must be ready to fight and create. Timely and provocative, Blanton's book challenges our preconceptions with a thorough scholarly treatise that proceeds in the guise of a deeply personal and passionate manifesto, therefore advancing and altering the terms of conversation as all insurrectional thinking surely must do.