Paulitics

Symposium 12 (2):127-146 (2008)

Abstract

In this essay we offer an interpretation of Alain Badiou’s theorisation of Paul the Apostle as a “universal singularity.” Our aim is to explore the extent to which Badiou’s articulation of political subjectivity provides a radically different locus and topos for the “political”—one that is rooted not in a concept of the abstract individual but rather in the material and generative process of individuation. Following Badiou, we explore the implications of the ontological shiftthat Paul represents—the shift from an external “body politic” to an internal “body politic”. In this respect, Badiou’s reading of Paul establishes “the political” as “the subjective” precisely in the sense that the locus of the political is the complicitous subject as such rather than an externalised abstraction such as “thestate.” Paulitics manifests itself in and as this subject subjected to the event—the “militant subject” that embodies and endures its “process,” its “truth procedure.”

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