Jewish Philosophical and Psychological Approaches to the Apostle Paul
AbstractThe study of Jewish approaches to Paul has tended to focus on theological issues. For some Jewish thinkers, however, the apostle was of interest for reasons other than interfaith dialogue or religious polemic. The philosophers Baruch Spinoza, Lev Shestov and Jacob Taubes, and the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Hanns Sachs, discovered in Paul’s writings support for their own ideological agenda. Each one, in his own way, offered a powerful critique of the place of religion in society. In terms of understanding Jewish-non-Jewish relations in the modern world, the study of how the Apostle to the Gentiles features in the works of these so-called marginal Jewish thinkers is a useful reminder of the complexity of Jewish identity.
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