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A Radical Jew, by Daniel Boyarin

- Abstract

A Radical Jew is billed as an encounter, on the part of “a practicing Jew, Talmudist, [and] cultural critic,” with “some of the most remarkable texts of Western literature, the Letters of Paul.” Daniel Boyarin, a professor at Berkeley, here attempts not only to explain the conversion of the leading apostle of the early Christian community but to show how the struggles of this erstwhile Jew of the 1st century have much to teach us about our own contemporary quandaries.

The key to Paul’s thought, Boyarin writes, is to be found in an early baptismal formula cited in his Letter to the Galatians (3:28). It reads: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

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