The Bible and Critical Theory, Vol 7, No 2 (2011)

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Becoming Whosoever: Reexamining Pauline Universalism

Mika Ojakangas


In my article I examine, on the one hand, the emergence of the idea of universal natural law in Greek antiquity and especially in Roman Stoic thought. On the other hand, I compare this philosophical universalism (universalism of logos/ratio) with Christian and especially Pauline universalism. I argue that the Pauline conception of universalism is very different from the philosophical understanding of it. It is not a category that transcends particular cultures and identities in the name of universal principles (as in Greek and Stoic thought) but rather a category that denotes a process of rupture of all principles (nomos, arche, and so on).

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391