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March 27 symposium at U.Va. to examine politics and theology
Saint Paul: Marxist Sympathizer?

March 19, 2004 -- The University of Virginia will sponsor a theology and politics symposium, “Resurrecting the Politics of Saint Paul: Truth and the Subject,” on March 27 at Jefferson Hall on the Range. The daylong program is free and open to the public.

Addressing such questions as whether revolutionary politics relates to democracy and whether Marxism has a relationship with Christianity and Judaism, the symposium will feature speakers who are considered world-renowned philosophers, political theorists, literary critics and theologians. They include Alain Badiou, Ecole normale supérieure and the Colle_ge international de philosophie, Paris; Daniel Bell, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.; Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research and the Colle_ge international de philosophie; Regina Schwartz, Northwestern University; Kenneth Surin, Duke University; and Eleanor Kaufman, John Milbank, Eugene Rogers and Corey Walker, faculty members at the University of Virginia.

“The central theme of the symposium is to assess the political and rhetorical significance of Saint Paul’s universal truth claims in scripture and how they relate to our postmodern political realities,” said Creston Davis, a Ph.D. candidate in religious studies at the University of Virginia who has organized the program. “Saint Paul (and Christianity) has been recently reinterpreted by some Marxist philosophers as a new figure who harbors genuinely revolutionary potentials and who struggles to bring about a more just order of the world.”

Speakers and panelists will present according to the following schedule:

9 to 10:30 a.m. Alain Badiou
10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Eleanor Kaufman
1 to 2 p.m. Daniel Bell
2 to 3 p.m. Kenneth Surin
3 to 4 p.m. Simon Critchley
4 to 5 p.m. Eugene Rogers
5 to 6:30 p.m. Panel (Alain Badiou, Simon Critchley, John Milbank, Regina Schwartz, Corey Walker)

The symposium is sponsored by various units at the University of Virginia, including the departments of Religious Studies, English, German, and Comparative Literature and Politics; the Political Theory Journal; and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; and by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind.

For more information, contact Creston Davis by e-mail at

Contact: Virginia E. Carter, (434) 924-1036

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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