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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 30, Issue 2, 2018

Joseph Rono
Pages 333-359

Revolutionary Traits in Wittgenstein and St. Paul
A Comparative Study

Philosophy experienced a turning point at the time of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Likewise, religion (Judaism) encountered transformation during the time of the apostle Paul. Wittgenstein’s metaphor of the ‘River-bed’ that was later subsumed in the language-game theory is a concept that challenged the then status quo of philosophy known as rationalistic foundationalism. This philosophical predisposi­tion is analogous to the religious situation when Paul began his Christian ministry. Paul’s passionate emphasis on ‘justification by faith’ rather than legalistic or ritualistic observance of the law, was a shockwave to the Judaist religious establishment. Wittgenstein and Paul could as well be regarded as ‘radicals’ or rebels in their respective disciplines. Wittgenstein introduced a paradigm shift into philosophy while Paul did it in the Christian religion. Their unconventional outlooks were, however, met with a lot of resistance especially from the diehard philosophers and/or religionists of the day. This paper, therefore, is a comparative work on Wittgenstein (Philosophy) and Paul (Religion) in order to demonstrate sustained revolutionary tendencies toward human innovations and the need to strive for excellence.

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