Preversation of Difference or a Call to Sameness?: Rethinking the Universal in the Letters of St. Paul
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When St. Paul writes ?there is no difference between Jew or Greek? or ?circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing? does he mean that differences are abolished and what emerges is a new universal man, a Christian? Or can the exact opposite be read in Paul; that instead of the production of sameness through the dissolution of difference, one can see the preservation and even multiplication of difference? My talk will look at how a new reading of Paul allows us to view him not simply as a religious figure fixed in first century Palestine, but as a complex and subtle thinker of the universal and its relationship to difference.