Slave of the messiah


From Ted Jennings’ Outlaw Justice: The Messianic Politics of Paul. Speaking of Paul’s identification of himself as a “slave of the messiah,” Jennings says: “Like his messiah, he identifies with the abjected masses of the Roman Empire. Yet this downward social mobility, this identification with the lowest, is not situated within a static social stratification but within a force field so far identified with the word messiah. This name points to the uprising of the oppressed, enslaved, and impoverished and to the bringing down of the high and mighty, the powerful and the privileged. This reversal distinguishes a “messiah” from a king or emperor. To say that one is a slave of the messiah is already to rupture language from within. It is to say that which ordinary language will not allow. It is to give voice to a mind-bending paradox of explosive social potential.”



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