Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can it be true? Is this for real?

Badiou is coming to Auckland.

The name Alan Badiou may not mean much to readers here, but if it is known then it may mean a lot because he is a French atheist, leading philosopher in the one country likely to think philosopher = rock star who once wrote a seminal New Testament book.

That book is St Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (2003). In it Badiou expounds the thesis that Paul is the first philosopher to speak universal truth for the world (as opposed to his tribe or culture or nation). Badiou's interest lies in this starting point for later universalist philosophers including Marx.

Our Christian and Pauline interest in Badiou might be that a non-believer recognises the significance of Paul as the apostle to both Jews and Gentiles, that is, to everyone, with a message for all. Part of Badiou's point is that the universal 'all' of Paul is not only Jews and Gentiles, but all Jews and Gentiles: women as well as men, slaves as well as masters.

Alan Badiou is giving a public lecture at the University of Auckland, 6 pm, Tuesday 25 November 2014. The event is announced here on Facebook. I am going!

His lecture is being arranged by "the Auckland Critical Theory Collective, the School of Social Sciences and the Europe Institute" but notice has been circulated by Robert Myles for the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Biblical Studies.

The topic intrigues, and may have little to do with the New Testament given the provenance of the organisers:

"À la recherche du réel perdu / In search of the lost Real"

Of course the witty ones on the Facebook page, in the light of the topic are raising the question whether this is really going to happen :)


MichaelA said...

I believe (and it will be easy enough for anyone to correct my French!) that "réel" could also be understood as "the actual". So similar to Francis Schaeffer's book title "The God who is There".

For what that's worth... :)

Peter Carrell said...

I am hoping, Michael, that the worth of the lecture somehow equates, within the mysteries of French philosophy, to the cost of the airfares to get to Auckland ... and back :)

Father Ron Smith said...

Well, God did use some pretty unlikely characters to carry out the divine will.