Alain Badiou and the Book of Acts

Bruce Worthington, Hollis Phelps

Abstract


Since the publication of Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (Badiou 2003), much scholarly attention has been paid to the relationship between French philosopher Alain Badiou and the Apostle Paul. This fresh work has, for some, reanimated the discourse of Pauline biblical studies, and thus attracted many to explore a deeper connection between contemporary philosophy and Pauline biblical interpretation. However, few biblical scholars, theologians, and philosophers have attempted to extend Badiou’s framework into other domains, such as the Book of Acts, or other books of the Bible. 

While Alain Badiou might disavow the general usefulness of the Book of Acts, we suggest the Book of Acts contains all the formal elements necessary for the establishment of a truth procedure: 1) truth as evental 2) truth as generic multiple 3) truth as universal and 4) truth as militant proclamation. In this sense, perhaps the Book of Acts is a superior heuristic tool for articulating Badiou’s notion of truth as it proceeds from an event, as it not only offers a window into the subject constituted by the event, but also the material effects of truth in established places of discourse.  It is the book of Acts that creatively organizes the event of the resurrection not in terms of philosophical speculation, but in terms of actual historical circumstances and sequences, which serve to elucidate Badiou's  model in even more profound ways.


Keywords


Alain Badiou; Acts; Paul;

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391