This essay explores the heuristic force of Alain Badiou's theory of 'truth-processes' for an understanding of the psycho-social effect of Paul's gospel upon first-century inhabitants of the Roman Empire, both elite and lower class. Badiou's analysis of the 'situated void' around which existence is constructed directs attention to figures of the subject as 'living death' in the literature of the first century, illuminating the process by which a new, liberated self came forth, in response to Paul's message of the resurrection. An immanent critique of Badiou's singular emphasis upon the resurrection as the Pauline 'truth-event' gives rise to an hypothesis regarding Paul's description of his gospel as 'Christ crucified' in his later epistles: Paul dared to name the 'situated void' around which the existence of slaves was constructed in order to redeem the oppressed, whose identities were submerged in shame, from the annihilating power of the cross.
- Alain Badiou
- Walter Benjamin