Disjuncture, Continental philosophy's new “political Paul,” and the question of progressive Christianity in a Southern California Third Wave church



Drawing on recent anthropological debates on temporality, hope, and the relationship between Christian eschatology and political action, I use Alain Badiou's reading of St. Paul's epistles to trace out the internal logic of a left-leaning Southern California church in the Vineyard, a strongly charismatic Christian denomination. I argue that members of this church see progressive politics as a function of the incomplete eschatological event of Jesus's redemption of the world. This view of progressive politics as demarcating an ontological divide serves to foreclose certain forms of political organizing and alliances because such political activity, being recognizable, does not fit the condition of radical alterity associated with the divine in church members’ religious practice. [anthropology of Christianity, anthropology of temporality, Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity, Southern California, progressive Christianity, Badiou, critical anthropology]