2. Walter Benjamin and Early Christian Texts
Critical Theory and Early Christianity - Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler - Matthew G. Whitlock
Matthew G. Whitlock [+]
Matthew G. Whitlock (PhD, The Catholic University of America, 2008) is Associate Professor of New Testament at Seattle University. His research focuses on Acts of the Apostles, the Apostle Paul, New Testament Poetry, Critical Theory, and Science Fiction. His publications have focused on topics ranging from New Testament poetry in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly to the Body Without Organs and Christianity in Deleuze and Guattari Studies. He is currently working on a book of dialectical images from the science fiction of Philip K. Dick and from the letters of the Apostle Paul.
This chapter discusses the life and work of Walter Benjamin in the context of critical theory and early Christianity. The chapter begins by underscoring Benjamin’s insistence on including both the present and past while examining history, blasting both together in dialectical images. Next, it outlines Benjamin’s life, providing context for his ideas. Finally, the chapter summarizes the two essays in this section, one by Robert Paul Seesengood and another by Carl Levenson, and suggests further research on the aura of early Christian origins in light of Benjamin’s ideas in “The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility.”