Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/804852
- Julia Kristeva, Marx and the singularity of Paul
- The Marxist version of Julia Kristeva is not very well known. If her name means anything, it is Kristeva the theoretical and practical psychoanalyst, but hardly Marxist. Indeed, Kristeva may seem like a strange addition to a collection of essays on Marxist feminism, for Kristeva has both sought to efface Marx as far as possible and distance herself from certain forms of American liberal feminism. There is, however, a Marxist Kristeva, as well as a feminist Kristeva. If the feminist is a distinctly European one, then the Marxist is hidden deeply within her writings, peering occasionally from behind the page but much more present in her earlier texts. Needless to say I am interested in this hidden Marx within Kristeva's work. I am also interested in the Kristeva who has written on the Bible. Of all the critical theorists who have done so, Kristeva would have to stand near the head of the list. So, instead of trying to locate what elements of her work are relevant for a Marxist feminist reading of the Bible, I focus on her own readings of the Bible, especially her interpretations of Paul in the New Testament. What follows, then, begins with Kristeva's readings of Paul, outlining her main arguments concerning love and the cures for the psychological pathologies in 'Tales of Love', and then Paul's invention of the collective in 'Strangers to Ourselves'. From there I move on to recover the repressed Marx within Kristeva's work, and then finally I return to her readings of Paul to see what they look like with the help of Marx. Succinctly put, my argument is that while her psychoanalytic readings of Paul fall short, a Marxist reading is able to offer a more comprehensive assessment of what is of value in her interpretation, especially on the questions of agape as something that comes from completely outside the human realm, the social and historical context of the pathologies cured by Paul, and the political implications of her focus on the collective.
- Marxist Feminist Criticism of the Bible p. 204-228
- The Bible in the Modern World
- Sheffield Phoenix Press
- Resource Type
- book chapter